Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Venetian Nights

Venice has a special place in my heart above Paris or even Bali. We’ve all seen the pictures of gondolas sailing under arched bridges and the crumbling but still beautiful buildings. Like a waning prima donna this city is elegant, graceful, melancholy. Accosted by Napoleon and spared by Hitler, there is no where on Earth quite like Venice. Especially Venice at night.

Venice has no cars or motorcycles or busses to spew exhaust fumes. There are no phone poles or traffic lights to remind us of the 21st century. After dark the streets are completely deserted. No tourists, no locals, no honking horns or ringing cell phones. Occasionally we would wander upon a small crowd laughing in the dim light of a restaurant. When we turned the corner, the perfume of lapping water would envelope us once again. Our footsteps softly echo. This eerie yet absolutely fascinating atmosphere transported us back to the 14th century every night we stepped out of the hotel.

Our second night in Venice we stumbled across a roof top lounge as deserted as the streets below. Surrounded by tropical plants, we sat in a swing sipping wine, listening to soft music and watching the stars. We made a habit of this glorious place every night after dinner. We laughed and shared stories with the staff as they led us on tasting after tasting of exotic rum and wine.

By the light of the moon, we found ourselves loving Venice and each other even more.



Dade said...

A beautifully written post.

My own experience with Venice is less romantic. For one thing, I fell into a canal near the Piazza San Marco. Bummer. The pigeons freaked me out, and, the whole place seemed more like an amusement park, full of tourists, than an actual city where people lived.

But it was beautiful, no doubt about that.

Eclectic Dilettante said...

Thank you Dade,

You fell into a canal...oh my, that must have been traumatic.

Yes, during the day it's a completely different place.

Steavrious said...

Ah yes, I remember it well. Like something out of a dream. Much better at night than in the hub-bub of the day, and all those cruise ship tourists. People who only go there for a day never really experience the magic of Venice. I stayed for only a few days. I could have easily stayed a few months.