When I first showed up in Italy last week, my host asked me if I’d like to see venice. It wasn’t a stop on the tour, but it was only an hour or so from where I’d be staying. I pretended to be cool and collected and said “sure.”
I first really encountered Venice in Jeanette Winterson’s book The Passion, so all I knew about Venice is that it was terribly romantic and that you could huck dead bodies into the canals if you wanted.
But for sheer magic, in the aesthetics and design, I’ve never seen anywhere that compares to Venice. Maybe New Orleans or Amsterdam can fight it out for a distant second. Our directions included “take a left when you find a little boy holding a lizard.” (which turned out to be a sculpture, and it turned out to be a frog). I didn’t take a photo of it, but there’s a building so cursed, right on the water and next to a beautiful gigantic church, that even the local squatters won’t touch it. No one seems to own it, because everyone who ever does dies horribly. I tried to explain that squatters should be exempt cause they don’t own the places they live, but ah well.
My guide pointed out with equal glee the historical palaces and the nuances of the political graffiti. An architect, she explained how they construct buildings on a sinking lagoon.
After approximately twenty minutes I gave up on keeping my camera in my bag. I hate when I look like a tourist. But fuck it, I was. And it was beautiful.