When Mr. Aiello first asked me of how was my trip to Venezia (Venice), my reply to him so that he understands me perfectly was Bellissimo!! (extremily beautiful, magnificient).
Before leaving for Venice Sylvia asked me what was I expecting from Venezia. My answer to her was, “I don’t really want to imagine or expect anything about the city, people had already hyped a lot about the city to me….and I don’t want to expect too much…what if the expectation are not met…then my trip would be a dissatisfaction.”
But how much ever said I had created a picture of this place in my mind…a picture which showed it to be architecturally splendid, canals, over looking the Adriatic, crowded with tourist etc.
I was visiting Venezia with Sylvia over the weekend and we were to stay at one of Sylvia’s friend Sophia's place, who would be guiding us in the city. And what guide we got, she is just 16 by age but has the detail knowledge of each and every place, lane and also its history. I was completely awe-struck by her knowledge and interest, though language was a barrier between us but then Sylvia was there to do the translation job.
So finally after an hour and a half train journey we reached Venice. The first thing that I noticed was the crowd and then the artistic work that was present all over. Right in front of the station was placed a replication of one of Michelangelo’s sculpture which was actually protesting the U.S. war against terrorism…I mean a protest was also so beautifully shown in the form of a sculpture.
Our walk through the city to reach Sophia’s place, itself gave me the feel of the city. A city of paved slab roads, narrow lanes, city of masks, road side restaurants, each and every building/house was architecturally and artistically awesome. I knew that this city was filled with canals but what I didn’t know was canals are the only mode of transportation (boats/ Gondola) in the city or else you got your legs to walk. Yes this place doesn’t have any vehicle on the roads not even bicycles. I mean it does not really have roads they are only paved slab lanes and sometimes narrow enough with no space for two people to walk parallely. But then the old city is quite small so can be walked through, but of course you would be easily lost in the lanes and that makes the walk longer.
Staying at Sophia’s place was an antique pleasure in itself. Thanks to her and her family I got to feel Venice in its true form…and not only the touristic view. Yes, we did visit the major touristic spots but what the true Venetian culture was seen in that house and in their way of living.
The night life of the city was like a dream. It was truly very romantic, with live music being played at most of the restaurants and St. Marca’s square at night was a pleasure to the eyes.
My final treasured memory of this trip would be our boat ride over the Grand Canal from Sophia’s house to the railway station. Sophia’s father decided to drop us to the station on the boat as we were already very late to walk our way back. And this half an hour trip was mesmerizing…got to see the other view of the city.
In all, the two days now feels like a dream and it was complete to my expectation and even more.