Venice – Forever in your dreams
Venice, Italy is one of those destinations that live forever in your dreams. The beauty of being surrounded by water, drinking fine wine, and eating traditional Italian cuisine to the sound of an orchestra is unmatched by any other experience. Piazza San Marco is a meeting point that you can’t miss. It is where I first heard an orchestra under the nighttime sky.
Seriously, it is amazing.
We had coffee and listened to Venice’s version of a cover band as the orchestra played classical tunes and current ones as well with ornamental flair. The gondolas bobbed in the water off in the distance and the sky seemed to be full of stars.
That was our first night in Venice and it is the one I remember most.
Venice has many things to see and do, but the most overwhelming feeling for us was the fact that all we wanted to do was stroll around. We visited San Marco’s Basilica and enjoyed the pigeon feeding and watching that goes on in San Marco Square by day. We strolled the corridors and found a lovely glass shop selling Murano glass and bought trinkets for the folks back at home. We considered a gondola ride but didn’t take it – I wish we had. The mood was not romantic that day: the wind was getting colder by the minute and we never made it back around to do it. But the water taxi from the airport was enough to satisfy my boating craving.
What struck us most about Venice was how ornate it was on one block but then, if you took an alley, how stark. We strolled off the beaten path to see what lay behind the touristy section and found women with kerchiefs secured around their hair chasing goats in the street, children running and playing with sticks, and men talking in doorways. They were kind to us when we said hello, but spoke no English when merely a street away English, German, French, and Spanish could be heard among the Italian chatter. It was a very sobering experience – a reminder to keep my feet on the ground and not let my head float too far in the clouds.
Our hotel was small by US standards – just three levels with the tiniest of elevators available. But the room itself was ornate. Granite, gold plating, intricate patterns in the wallpaper, everything you can think of when grand style comes to mind. The lavishness of the room made us want to stay in and enjoy opulence.
The orchestra alone is reason enough to visit this place. Pile on the beautiful rooms, the scenery, exquisite Italian food, and, of course, the gelato, and you have the perfect excursion.
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