Venice, the Sinking City

A Youth Backpacker in Europe

Part II Chapter VI

Venice, the Sinking City


Venice is very beautiful.

That’s the arguably the first utterance of people related to Venice. Undoubtedly, it is unique; an entirely auto-free archipelago surrounded by numerous meandering canals and is connected by more than 400 bridges. Not to mention also is the world renowned gondolas that promise to burn your pocket mercilessly.

Venice is said to be virtually the same as it was six  hundred years ago and many believe the romantic charm remains even in this fast paced century.

Canal1When I was in Milan, one of my hosts shared his love story with me. He and his girlfriend weren’t lovers back then. But during his now girlfriend stay in Venice, he went to Venice and proposed a relationship with  her, which was fruitful of course, under the famous Realto Bridge followed by strolling a night out in the late summer breeze.

Indeed, the atmosphere of Venice was certainly conducive for the invention of many romantic epics that would be dwelt upon with great relish for at least a period of a life time. But perhaps avoiding the summer vacation period would be Canal2a requisite condition.

Travelled alone to Venice in mid September, I was as usual never short of company from the swamps of international tourists. It was especially true when I was at the Realto Bridge, impressing myself with the breathtaking and mesmerising view of the Grand Canal. I endeavoured to paint a very romantic love story with prevailing couple kissing passionately at the proximity of the bridge.

Sadly, the constant camera shutter beeping and the proverbial “say cheese” chant inevitably pulled my legs down to the ground for the entire time. Fortunately, I didn’t get hit by camera as I had Realtoexperienced in Musée de Louvre.

Celebrating my sheer luck in successful avoidance of camera accident, I noticed that in Venice, despite the fact that horrendous Italian English is as cliché as Venice is very beautiful, every Italian was surprisingly fluent in English. If intoxicated in an incomprehensible foreign language is your kind of romantic illustration, I am afraid it will render a pathetic outlook here. Not to forget is also the potential grimace of pain on your face whilst squeezing in your path on the jam-packed Realto Bridge.

Enough about Realto Bridge, what about Saint Mark’s Square and Saint Mark’s Basilica, and also the Venetian masks? GondolasWell, three words to describe these three objects: massive, splendid and plentiful respectively. 

Did I buy a Venetian mask? All I can say is instead of investing time and money in choosing the perfectly matched mask, I indulged in cone after cone of Italian ice-cream and satisfied with the purchase of a Venetian mask pin. What I looked forward to was not the worry of damaging the expensive mask in my luggage, but the immense energetic waving in front of me.

Join me next time in the grand entry to the ancient powerhouse, Rome, a.k.a. the SanMarcoSquareeternal city.