I have long had a desire to go to Venice, but deciding to make it happen this year was as easy as picking up National Geographic Traveler’s Venice issue at the bookstore. On my walk home a bus passed me with an ad for the Masters of Venice exhibit at the de Young. For me it was a moment that could only be characterized as serendipity.
Eight months later I would arrive at the City of Water. Exiting the train station I could feel my heart palpitate with anticipation. Whenever I visit a place I have dreamed about visiting there is always a fear that reality will not live up to the vision created.
But when you see a place like Venice even a cynic like me realizes there must be some higher powers at work to create a place so beautiful. If I imagined a Utopia it would look something like Venice.
Despite being a city nearly completely overrun by tourists, it maintains a magnetism that is hard to refute. So, I submitted myself to the city and all the touristy goodness. As quick as I could drop my bags off I was at the Piazza San Marco.
The vast square seems to go on forever and then disappear off into the water. I wanted to let it envelop me whole and melt away into the sea. I sat there for hours. I needed that long to fully comprehend the splendor.
I settled in at one of the restaurants in the Square, which were undoubtedly meant to attract starry-eyed visitors like me. With the sun beaming down on my face, I sipped on my Venetian Spritz while taking in the sites and sounds around me. In the background a band dressed in white tuxedos serenaded the crowd and was the soundtrack for the moment.
But Venice is a city that is meant to be explored and an integral part of the experience is wondering around the island aimlessly. Despite being quite small, you will undoubtedly spend a good deal of time lost. Walking down the narrow alleyways I never knew where I would end up next, which was part of the thrill.
Venice is for lovers and for dreamers. It awakened something in me that wanted to believe. To believe in love. To believe in dreams. To believe in Venice.