Venice is a city in northern Italy. It is world-famous for its iconic canals.
I could never wait to come back
Some time ago I had friend who fancied himself as an aesthete. He found London unbearable and went off to teach English in Italy. I think he’d read too much Thomas Mann for A Levels. He wandered around for a while and ended up in Venice on a year’s contract. That was twenty years ago - he never came back. Over the years I spent a lot of time visiting him and while it was always nice to see him, it was Venice that I could never wait to come back to. It is a magical place - part town, part mirage. On my last visit I treated myself to a boat taxi from the airport. There was an impenetrable, low Autumnal fog lying over the lagoon and I was disappointed. But as we drew closer, Venice rose up out of the mist towards me, San Marco and the Doges Palace on the waterfront wreathed in grey like a city of ghosts. It can be a maddening place - the heat and stink of the Summer, the cruise ship hoards, the sheer cost of spending time there can drive you mad. But, warts and all, Venice is above all a human city. It is after all, manmade: born out of human ingenuity, built by human acquisitiveness and the site of some of our most prodigious artistic achievements . It is human-paced. With no cars, all you hear are voices, the rattle of wheels on cobbles and the swirl of the Adriatic - you can feel your pulse slow and your stride lengthen as you walk its streets. And that’s when you start to sense that other Venice, the deeper, darker, older place that has inspired and even disconcerted so many authors and artists. If you were being pretentious you could say it was a city with an ’Id’. And how much more human can you get than that?
Deborah, United Kingdom - 13 July 2007
Timeless beauty and romance in every stone
So many people have praised Venice so much more beautifully than I can. I will stick to two simple facts - over and above the timeless beauty and romance in every stone, Venice has no cars, and it is impossible to take a bad photograph there!
Jill, Canada - 12 September 2005