It may be an unusual association for some, but many times I find myself pairing a place with something musical. For me, Venice was Jason Mraz. It could be because I have been listening to the same 61 songs on my phone the whole semester here and The Remedy is one of these, but this matchup just seems right. Listen to the laidback but upbeat song if you’d like to see what I’m talking about.
Dear Laurie Beth and Michael,
I hope you enjoyed your time in London as much as I enjoyed Venice. As this won’t be a shock to anyone who has visited Venice for their self, I have only good things to report. Blame it on the sun, company, or sheer beauty of the place. I, myself, cannot pinpoint exactly what it was about Venice that made me so happy, but that is all that I was in Venice, happy, and that’s how I will always remember it.
Sitting on the train From Florence in a state somewhere between leisurely reading and drifting off to sleep, I tried to scope out a game plan on how to tell you about my trip. I thought about what I like to hear from my friends when they illustrate their experiences for me and I came up with this: I want to feel like I was there with them. Thrilling stories don’t start with bland itineraries, listing out the times and places anyone could get from reading a guidebook. No, they yank the listener in with action and emotion. Though I don’t have any stories that will have you at the edge of your seat, I will tell you how it felt to be in Venice and hopefully you’ll feel as if you hadn’t missed a thing.
The first thing that put a smile on my face was the water. Everywhere you look, there’s a canal, big or small, lined with gondolas, waterbuses or taxis, and personal motorboats. As, MJ mentioned weeks ago, water has a quality that draws people in. This whole city, built on a lagoon, has this very quality that drew me in instantly. I think this is partly due to the fact that some of my fondest memories are of the fourth of Julys I spent with my family on the lake, the endless days wakeboarding with friends, and the vacations on beaches of the Pacific ocean. However, another part of me realized that water has the effect of slowing life down. Not only do the memories of water include that carefree, living-in-the-moment feeling, but also the water physically slows the city down. It’s a huge contrast to the fast paced streets of Florence, where you have cars, mopeds, and bikers zooming past you on small narrow roads. These canals literally have people floating through life as they get from point A to point B in peace. This slow pace travel allowed time to reflect and absorb the beauty of the nature, buildings, and people around you.
Another contributor to my almost manic state of happiness was the uniqueness and individualistic feel of everything. To try to explain this, I can tell you about the markets. First, I will let it be known that I have a strange love for markets, markets of any kind. This is one of the many reasons I love Madison so much. Anyways, as we strolled through town we saw vendors selling fruit, vegetables, and other goods right on the water; fish markets with fresh fish and even live “Gamberi Laguna pescato”; and flower markets adding life to the squares. Even though there were countless vendors selling the same products, each person behind their display seemed to add their own spice of individuality to their particular stand. Another piece of Venice that encased the uniqueness feel were the mask shops. Again, there were countless numbers of shops that housed these masks, but each mask had it’s own identity. One shop in particular was Madison’s favorite shop that she had to share with Sarah and me. This shop was a tiny place with crazy masks on shelves, the ceiling, and lining the window. It was comparable to my middle school locker, which had every square inch covered in some post-it or picture; there was just no room for boring. This is coming from my minimalistic self, I loved it. I think the cherry on top of everything were the cats.I really appreciate when the weird and random is simply accepted and passed as normal for a place just as these cats are in Venice.
As much as I would love to share every detail, I think I will leave the rest for you guys to experience. I hope you’ve found your happy place somewhere in this beautiful country called Italy.
Instead of pictures this week, I thought a short video would capture the weekend better.