Venice. The life of Italy, surrounded by water, floating gaily. At peace and in love. Gondolas push down the canal, faceless gondoliers serenading their passengers in flowing Italian song. Shops cast dim light on the canal. Street lamps seem undecided, unsure whether to shine brightly enough to guide the singing taxis home, or whether to go home themselves. Cafes along the canal are cheery and mysterious all at once, and small, tight-knit groups dart between restaurants. Cats and dogs peer curiously from alleys, sniffing hopefully at those leaving stores. Laughter tinkles, making time with the flow of the canal. Deeper along the narrow streets, lights flicker off in homes. Slowly, slowly, Venice is engulfed by darkness, and the city sleeps.
But just because the city sleeps does not mean that all within sleep. One man wanders down the street, whistling quietly to himself. The tune is familiar, yet it cannot be placed. The man carries a camera in one hand and a flute of champagne in the other. He carefully snaps photographs of the sleeping city, capturing the warm store-front signs, the cozy houses, the soft look of the canal, all shadowed by indifferent street lamps. The man smiles to himself as he looks through the camera’s lens. This is Italy. This is Venice.
Sadly, I have never been to Venice. One day, however, I’ll go, and I’ll be like that man, snapping pictures, smiling at the world through a camera’s glassy lens. I’ll go out when the rest of the city is sleeping, and I will experience Venice in a way I can only dream of now.
I know this is all very romanticized, but that’s how I picture Venice. All I have to go off of is pictures I’ve seen on the internet and the occasional movie…but I can see Venice perfectly in my mind’s eye.
I know I won’t be disappointed when I go.
I can’t wait.