A City on Pretty Waters

Photo of A City on Pretty Waters by Parishka Gupta

I travel to settle down the pandemoniums of life raging inside me. These new places, the new people, new tastes greeting my tongue; they intrigue me to a crazy level. I am so very fascinated by this therapy. And obviously, I am so indefinitely attached to travelling that my heart does not stop hammering against my chest until I put down my story on a piece of paper. So here I have an unprecedented experience of mine in the city which has a strong affinity for intricate romance--Venice.

Murano is highly peremptory but is a midget part of Italy. It is the womb of, probably, the best glass structures in this whole wide world. The beauty of glass and colours are well comprehended by the most placid demeanours. It opens the artist's eye in every human. The art of casting glass into ingenious and intricate charm seems to be pure legerdemain sometimes.

We watched raptly as an old man with white hair assiduously took out a brightly glowing ball of molten glass from the blazing furnace onto a long pipe. It was almost as though he had command over the orb. He blew into the pipe and the orb swelled up. He blew into it again and all of a sudden the orb was splashed with a bright, swirling crimson. In a few minutes, a bonny glass vase sat before us.

An even more impressive and laudable display was on the streets of Murano. It leaves all its spectators speechless. Glass can be made into seriously anything. From huge balls and tremendous structures with tentacles to teeny-tiny cats which can be no bigger than the size of a baby's finger. We satisfied our frissons that had bubbled up in all the glass watching by buying a family of blue cats. Today, they sit in my collection from around the world; a perfect reminiscent of terrific artists who befriended a substance whose man-made curves are known better by its sharpness--glass.


The myriad colors stay in your eyes for the longest time

Photo of Burano, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy by Parishka Gupta

After spending the first half of the day with glass and its wonders, it was time for us to treat our eyes with something a bit more awe-inspiring and enthralling. Our next destination was a half an hour boat ride from Murano. As we bid goodbye to the sharp edges of the glass, what was coming next was something soft, restful and a sight for sore eyes.

Burano is a freshly bought unused colour palette. On first sight, one might think the city to be a victim of the outrage of the goddess Iris, who in a fit of rage, hurled all the pretty colours of her rainbow at the city. Petit three-storeyed buildings are neatly lined in a row and coloured with the loveliest shades of green, yellow, red, blue and other pretty colours. Well-trimmed potted plants bedecked the balconies; I almost envisaged lovely women waving at us, their laughter as soft as tinkling bells. The boats there jibe beautifully. As if not wanting to be left out, they were also splashed with the same style of colours.

The street life is as lively as ever. The open restaurants are found every now and then. Fish is somewhat a speciality of Venice and is relished by all Venetians, and this preference has gone out of Venice with the flow of the water and reached its neighbours. Locals here will give a beautiful description of the taste of fish; they sympathize all the vegetarians on earth as they do not have the pleasure to eat fish. If you have a fable for seafood, this is probably one of the places on earth that serve quality with love.

My trip was all about soaking in the pleasure of the beauty of Venice and its pristine waters. I was so enthralled by the unprecedented ruminations storming in my brain that I did not bother to come out of this surreal state of mind.

Remember, drink in all of Venice’s quintessence, and you will never complain about not experiencing quality. Ever again.

Photo of Murano, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy by Parishka Gupta

This elfin destination is the capital of northern Italy's Veneto region. There is something so bewitching about the atmosphere on Venice. Here, time does not pay heed to run and annoy its spectators. Time is slow and suave in this earthly heaven. This city is on a bunch of islands, which is what makes it so ravishing and unrivalled. There are no roads, just canals flowing with calm waters. The absence of vehicles and the atrocious smoke which comes out of them is the dominant cause of why the air was so pure and unearthly.

The replacement of vehicles indeed a wonderful one. Boats!

The term "water bus" is a more common one in Venice. The entire system of water transportation is called Vaporetto and is also the pride of Venice.

The boat which always steals the show is the gondola. Riding a gondola should be at the top of your itinerary of Venice. If on average estimates, the royal ones which are all red velvet and long and pointed will pinch your pocket. But if you are casual with your expenses, you should definitely give it a try. And, if you are a couple, oo la la, you are going to enjoy your hearts out. The mood is so lovey-dovey that it brings out the poet out of the most indifferent identities. Its gentility and ethereal look have its place in thousands of painter's eyes. It's suave and superlative class has magnetized affluent people from all over this planet.

The famous Rialto bridge

Photo of Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy by Parishka Gupta

With magnificent waters come terrific bridges. The beauty of these bridges which you will find here and there lies in its tone of being quotidian. Even the smallest bridge in Venice, when stood upon to behold, gives the perfect photograph; which comprises of a canal in the centre snaking its way and narrowing as it goes endorsed by little apartments lined along the banks. The King of Bridges in Venice is the Rialto Bridge, which is the earliest of the four bridges traversing the Grand Canal. Its angular arch is what is so peculiar of it. I really think it to be a great place for couples, for it is sentimental and profoundly redolent of the history of lovers.

The beauty of Venice mainly lies in its exiguity. The overweening rows of boats brightly splashed with colours bob gently on the lulled waters of Venice tugs a grin on my face. The cobblestoned streets and three-storeyed buildings dipped in the lightest shade of ochre, push its spectators back into the flourishing and froward period of Renaissance.

The flee market is something that will interest you if you are a retrophiliac. Venice is well- sprinkled with these awesome markets. Somebody like me would really enjoy scouring these markets for miniature stuff- like miniature tea sets, miniature dining sets, miniature furniture. Wonderfully decorated candlesticks, an exceptional collection of literary classics, delicately beautiful chandeliers, unusual lanterns, antiques; a lot of this stuff will surely interest people who enjoy collecting random things which decorate random corners of their home. Upholstery is another vocation of these markets. It is very eloquent and impressive indeed. From pretty tops to full-sized rugs and a lot more accessories were made out of crochet. Beadwork is another attraction of these markets. You can easily spot a market from far away on seeing something colourful and small sparkling in the distance. Thread crochet and yarn crochet; they both have their own value and charm. Dig deep into these markets, and you will surely find something strangely beautiful to take back home.

Rediscovering hidden stories is another activity which I perform for the pleasure. With the convoluted history of Italia, what could be better than touring the essence of this place, the Renaissance?

Flip the pages of the record of people whose will to change the perspective of art was ablaze, and its heat was tangible enough for entire Europe during the era of the Renaissance. Pay a visit to the museum of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci, from whose mind had flown absolutely ingenious models of flying machines; whose deft hands gave us the well-known face; the veiled countenance of Mona Lisa. Her ethereal features and the sweet smile has won kudos from great artists of today and will continue to do so henceforth.

We were not fortunate enough to lay our eyes upon his greatest of works, but, standing on the porch of the house of Vinci's innovative collection, we could still feel the fire of his fabrications and how he had once strived to make them a reality.

There is one thing about history; the more you caress it, the hungrier you get-- seriously. We were so absorbed in the weight and impact of the Renaissance, that we had completely forgotten our stomachs until it gave a call for help, and asserted its presence.

No fool would actually visit Italy and not treat his taste buds with some authentic pasta. The medley of the kinds of pasta up for grabs in the streets of Venice is indeed colourful and whimsical. Shapes, sizes and colours; these were the basis of discernment of the pasta. Lasagne, ravioli, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, fusilli, farfalle and a lot, lot more. Walk into a Giacomo Rizzo store, the most venerable house of pasta in Italy. Starting off in 1905, this guy made handmade pasta and was instantaneously loved by all Venetians. So, the prodotti artigianali (handcrafted products) marked pasta is the best of best.

In Italy pasta is often eaten with pesto sauce. It is a sauce made out of basil and other odoriferous herbs. Personally, I am not very fond of it, especially when it is accompanied by cheese. But, it is liked a lot by the world. My Indian taste buds are not very used to such kinds of food which reek a bit more than normal; no offence to pesto, though! But, they are adventurous enough to go around the world tasting anything vegetarian, let me tell you that.

Some mornings are simply beautiful. The ones where you feel like spending your time standing in a balcony, listening to old pop music, and feed the birds-- they are regular visitors of Venice. So, on one such pleasant morning, when the day got a bit lazier and hungrier, we set off for the St. Mark Square, or the Piazza San Marco.

Super friendly birds with super friendly humans!

Photo of Museo Leonardo da Vinci, Campo San Rocco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy by Parishka Gupta

This place is exhilarating and a perfect delight for the kids and all the bird lovers of this world. The friendliest pigeons of the world flock this place. These are no ordinary pigeons, let me remind you. Stretch out your arm in front of you. Wait for a moment or two and behold the fascinating sight of a beautiful pigeon land on your arm and dig its little claws in your skin. Don't wince, for it might intimidate the little bird. If you think pigeons aren't very fond of you, stretch out your arm again, but this time, put some food spread on your arm. The light pecks you feel on your skin are very enjoyable indeed. And yes, do switch off the "click" sound in your camera and your flash lest you want to scare it away. You will always find that one person who is pretty unsuccessful in getting a single pigeon to sit on him. You will also find that one person who becomes the magnet for pigeons and will be covered in pigeons from head to toe. The birds simply love him. You will see two perched on his head, four lined up each arm, and if he is in a crouching position, three on each thigh. Don't be jealous. You just weren't the pigeons' type!

Today, feeding pigeons have been forbidden by the government there, for the pigeons later go around spoiling the wonderful Basilica and the Piazza. This rule wasn't in when I was there. Luckily, we had the pleasure to feed them. If you feel a bit sneaky and want to put your tomfoolery on display, go on, feed one pigeon just a little bit.

The St. Mark Basilica is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, according to Wikipedia. But, according to me, it is just a serene place which is so sanctified that it never fails to give one a peace of mind, just by laying eyes upon its white marble structure. There are interesting mosaics all over the ceilings and wall. They depict incidents from the Life of Christ and are so thought-stirring and captivating.

Some wonderful piano music reverberated on the edge of the Square and the transition from the subtle and devout mood to a playful and feathery mood was indeed mellow.

Italian masks have a big name in the world and were in extensive use in many fields, back in the Renaissance, especially in theatres. These masks are art brought to life. In the field of medicine, when doctors performed post mortems, they used an animal-shaped mask which had a long and pointed nose. At the end of the nose of the mask were aromatic herbs so as to prevent the foul smell of the dead. Such was the use of masks in old times. Masks used in theatres were bedecked with colourful feathers, sequin and lot of glitters. The mask makers are always emphatic about the eye area. The purpose of masks is to conceal the identity of the person.


The glass work never ceases to amaze

Photo of St. Mark's Square, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy by Parishka Gupta