She is otherworldly.
Hundreds of small islands connected by thousands of picturesque bridges, you cannot turn your head without dropping your jaw. Red, yellow, pink, and orange buildings against the bright blue sky and beautifully crafted gondolas cutting through the canals beneath your feet. Not an automobile in sight, not a care in the world. You begin to question whether or not the world outside still exists, then let the idea fade along with all other concerns.
I imagine the Venetians who live here, the very few, have spoiled their eyes with such views. A child, born and raised on these scenic shores, will venture outside this city one day. The mainland will bring sadness to his eyes as he discovers the real world is not as colorful, not as vivid, not everyone lives inside of a postcard.
Carnival is with out a doubt the most rewarding time of the year to visit Venezia. All my life I have watched Mardi Gras celebrations in Brazil, New Orleans, and Venice from the four walls of my living room without a mask or costume in sight. To have been apart of such a cultural celebration, the history and the beauty in Piazza San Marco, to watch it all come to life, I am still recuperating.
The men and women in costume are more than happy to pose for a photo, to fill dozens of albums with their beautiful ensembles. I was lucky enough to witness this annually famed fashion in person. Many argue that Venice is just as creepy as it is gorgeous, I happen to agree whole heartedly.
Another speculation about Venice during carnival, the dense traffic. I am not talking about cars, trucks, motorcycles, none of these exist on the islands. People, millions of them, packed like sardines on land. It could take over 20 minutes to cross a ten foot bridge. All the tourists climbing over each other to grab the perfect picture, or the slow moving grandparents who refuse to be trampled over. I’m sure the pickpockets had a field day.
Nevertheless, I would go back. Perhaps not during Carnival, but in the early summer or late spring when the crowds are low and the sun is high. To never again step foot in this oil painting of a city would be a crime to myself.
6 February 2016