Monday, October 31, 2011


After our time in Paris, we flew to Venice. Paris and Rome were, of course, exciting, interesting places to be, and I love that we went to each one. But Venice was something different for me. In 7th grade I read this book called The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It's a young adult novel set in Venice about a group of orphans who live in an abandoned movie theater. The book is so engrossing (I recently reread it and I love it as a 22-year-old, too!) and full of details about the city's intricate system of alleys and canals. I was sold. I devoured everything I could about the city with the unwavering passion and excitement of being 12, filled with wanderlust, and having never been anywhere.

I had thought that I would probably never make it there, so once our plans were set, my excitement was completely out of control. After our plane landed off the main island, we took a ferry into the city. Nothing could have pried me away from the tiny, sea salt-encrusted window next to my seat. Seeing Venice for the first time in the distance, as we neared it slowly, is one of those moments where I feel so okay with everything because I've made it to this. Things do work out.

And it was better than I could have ever known. Our hotel had an amazing location, and our fifth floor room had a wide view over the rooftops. The man at the desk was friendly and let out a loud, growing laugh when he didn't understand what we said. I can still hear him and my dad talking about world politics, misunderstanding each other left and right, with more than a few laughs in between.

Mostly we just walked, looked, got lost. And found more to look at. The alleys and canals and small bridges were like a maze, and we walked forever and never saw the same place twice. I felt like the characters from my beloved book, dodging others in the alleys, winding deeper and deeper into Venice.

We saw some major sights, took a day to see the outer islands like Murano and Burano (so colorful), but mostly just took our time, did what we wanted. We took a few vaparetto rides but not to get anywhere in particular. We just rode in big loops around the island and looked, admired from a different point of view. One of the most fascinating things we saw during the rides were all the boats unloading food and supplies for the island. These men would throw boxes of food from one to the other so skillfully and smoothly, I couldn't stop watching. We even saw a boat delivering a grand piano to someone. That was a little different than a few boxes.

Here are some of my favorite snapshots from Venice:
Favorite Venice Things:
1. sitting by the Grand Canal with my dad
2. all the colors at Burano
3. the street markets (so much fresh food)
4. Piazzo San Marco at night
5. balcony and rooftop gardens

Our stay in Rome up next!


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