IMPRESSIONS OF VENICE

During the day the light is pinky-soft and at night you sleep in spite of peachy-soft sounds of whispers, shouts, laughter and suitcases being dragged through the maze of alleys. The buildings are so old that it defies scientific explanation. The towers lean off-centre, the walls bulge, the city is flooded four times a year, and still the tourists come at a rate of over 25 million per year.

Planning your next holiday in Venice? By all means book accommodation in advance — but at your own peril. It is far more fun to drag your suitcase over the ancient cobble stones until fate leads you to where you know you are meant to be. To have a pre-conceived idea of your accommmodation is to sign up for disappointment in advance. Should you trip along on the internet until you find: “unsurpassed view, confortable beds, dishwasher, fridge, safe, wifi, televisiion, tasteful decor”….you may get all of the above, but none of it may be in working order. (No you cannot complain, because “it is no-one’s fault, s’all).

Far better to arrive hot, tired and bothered to a place where you are assured of at least a bed. That way any plus is a bonus. If you are lucky enough to find the kind of idyllic accommodation we can all dream of, the Gods are truly smiling upon you.

The Food, ah the glorious Italian Food! All over the place tourists are checking through the menuus which are displayed on side-walks. The glorious food is all the same; Pastas, antipasto, salad, lambs liver and tiramisu. After a few days of doing a through bit of checking, you realise that you are not checking for variation but for prices. Food on offer is all more or less the same. Variation is in the preparation, and for that you have to taste it first. No you are definitely comparing prices — which may vary anything between 5 and 15 euro for the same dish. The best food I had in the whole of Venice was at a place called Trattoria da Pezzi, and at a fraction of the other restaurant prices!

I think that the greatest pleasure of visiting Venice lies in riding the canals, in anything you can afford to enjoy the glorious colours, sights of ancient cultures and history that cannot be equaled anywhere else in the world.

Venice boasts over 400 bridges, some of marble, some of iron and some amazingly of wood, like the Academia Bridge. But you don’t need a university degree to be allowed to stand on it to enjoy the Grand Canal. The bridge of sighs is pure white marble. Achingly beautiful, too beautiful to have been used for the sad purpose of linking the ancient courts where people had been condemned to death, with the place where they would be executed — indeed a sad bridge of sighs.

Try on the masks, there are thousands of them all over the alley-ways and in myriad the little shops. I visited Rialto Bridge in June, and there were no Masked Balls anywhere, but I believe that the city is vibrant with masks and parties in February.

The greatest pleasure of Venice is riding the canals (in anything you can afford) and enjoying the beauty of the colours, the sights unequalled anywhere else in the world.

Prego, where can you the experience riding canals on gondolas to enjoy passing under so many beautiful bridges? Some of them are of marble, and some wooden or of wrought iron.

Almost all the married Italian men seem to be surly.

On the other hand Italian woman are beautiful in their teens and early woman-hood.Theirs is the reward of contentment, satisfaction and lovingkindness, because of the discontent and unhappiness with the lot of their men-folk. It softens their lines like the pebbles that rolls with the waves in the canals of Venice.

The buildings of course are old, so old that it defies scientific explanation. The towers lean, the walls bulge, the alleys are flooded four times a year, and still The yearly tourist numbering close on 25 million any year come. Astonishing.

I will always remember my visit to the City of Venice, cloaked in its beautiful, misty, rose-coloured hue and for the rest of my life it will occupy a special, soft place in my heart that yearns every day to go back to live there.