Venice: Too good to be believed

11th Jun 2017

Canal Grande

Photo of Venice: Too good to be believed by Ajinkya Pandharkar

Venice is a dream in reality, a sweet melody personified. It’s like a poem to be read slowly with eyes closed. It’s a marvel which doesn’t seem real even after you have stayed there and left. Its touristy, it’s crowded and it’s small, yet it’s magical. It’s too good to be believed.

To experience Venice, live like a Venetian. You have to stay on the island city to experience the real Venice. Let go the vaporettos, throw the maps, do away with your time table, and just start exploring. My bet is you will never get disappointed. The more you explore, the better it gets. And believe me you will still feel you haven’t seen it completely even after you cover everything.

Venice is best experienced on foot. Start from the St Lucia station to the left on Strada Nova, one of the main streets connecting the station to San Marco. The street is full of colours with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and small vendors selling fruits bustling on both sides. This street runs parallel to the Canal Grande, or the Grand Canal, which seems to play hide and seek with you on every nook and corner. You constantly seem to cross small canals with boats and Gondolas going beneath the bridges. The air is fresh and your ears are treated with melodies of some or the other musical instrument in every part of the city. Well, if you don’t find music, the gondoliers will fill the gap by singing Venetian songs.

3Post experiencing overwhelming experiences one after the other, you finally reach Piazza San Marco. You are treated to some more music emerging out of the five feet long violins. There are a lot of people around, but pigeons seem to outnumber humans. There is a breathtaking view of the Canal Grande meeting the sea as the gondolas seem to dance gently on the waves. Climb up the bell tower, if you are around in the evening. The view of the horizon is like nothing you would have ever seen in your life. The sun going down, its reflection in the sea, the blue waters constantly changing colour as the sun sets. In fact, the colour of the water in every canal will show you different variants of blue. As if all this is not enough, you will crave for more, and you won’t be disappointed.

4The nights in Venice are even better. The crowds, mostly coming by the big cruises or from the suburban Venezia Mestre, return back to their origins. Now, Venice comes of its own. The Venetians come out of their homes to have a drink and chill, the tourists are miniscule, and the streets empty yet lively. The lights take dip in the canal waters. The nights are best experienced over a quiet dinner canal side with wine, pasta and sea food around the Rialto Bridge. If days in Venice are always well spent, the nights are to be experienced.

As Arthur Symons quoted “I had my dreams of Venice, but nothing that I had dreamed was as impossible as what I found”. This sums up my feeling. I am out of Venice, back home in Mumbai, but Venice is still inside me, and the violin is ringing in my ears.