I had been to Venice before. I’ve sat outside a small café and drank espresso, gazing at the wonderment of this beautiful city on the water. This trip was different though. The weather, rather than the sun-struck canals I remembered from before, was soaked in a hazy fog, blinding the sights. Deep breaths produced what seemed like stream rising from my mouth. It was cold to say the least.
But we bore the elements; the group set out on what seemed like an adventure, twisting and turning in the crevasses and nooks that the city offers. A glass blowing demonstration beyond around the corner; a famous campo around this bend. Venice seems to create itself around each blind turn; just when you think it cannot possibly keep going, it shocks and awes and presents another foreign space.
My parents always told me that their favorite European city was Venice; until this trip I did not know why. Sure, my first time I had a great time; I was studying abroad and my school took us for the weekend. We explored, we ate seafood, etc etc. But the majestic beauty, the magical and romantic pace that it allows for, that was lost until this past weekend.
The best advice I ever got about Venice was that I should get lost in the city and explore and explore and not look back. I passed along that advice to some students this weekend, and I truly believe it, “When you get lost in Venice, you find Venice…” It couldn’t be more true.
As I (sadly) finish up my final days in Florence, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve