Venice and its hidden beauties

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When I went to Venice, I discovered that my dream had become-incredibly but quite simply- my address.

Marcel Proust

Have you ever wondered about becoming addicted with beauty? Can the human mind be so tight with the beauty of one place that it will slowly penetrate the way one conceives the world? Can one experience such a depth and variety of beauty that many other places will pass unnoticed? It might seem to be a philosophical question, however, if you have been in Venice long enough, you might end up wondering about this every now and then. Being a Venetian and growing up in such a city is a real privilege. In not many occasions does a human being have a chance to feel rightfully spoiled about something. In Venice this happens with the beauty which surrounds you all the time. Because let’s face it. Venice is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is a unique city with a strange mix of history, art and fragility which makes you desire to explore it in each of its small details and at the same time to protect it. And I’m not speaking about Saint Marcus square, or Rialto bridge. Those are indeed marvels. The kind of beauty I am speaking about is hard to imagine, as it belongs to the hidden and the unexpected. There is the beauty of the lagoon, which really is a living being. This beauty shows itself as a fragile equilibrium of tides which peacefully welcomes you as you explore its surface by boat. To savour it one has to be wise enough to enjoy it with the same silence with which one is welcomed. But remember, at times the lagoon, just like a prickly elegant lady, might recall its space, leaving you with no choice but wearing boots to move around while performing one’s daily duties. At those times one has no chance but to adapt to the rhythm of water, the same water which will unveil the hidden beauty of stone. This beauty will appear only after it rained. In those moments stones will abandon their roles of witness of history as they release their unmistakable smell, claiming their role in this wonder. One of the sweetest beauties one can experience in Venice is the beauty of discovery. Not only the sense of discovery one can feel by being there for the first time. In Venice even a grandma who spent there all her life might be able to spot some new details which up to that moment just passed unnoticed. A lifetime might in fact not be enough to understand the origins of the signs of the many different cultures who met in this place, as many of them were coming from countries who had very little in common until Venice rose. One of the beauties which mostly permeates this place is the elegant beauty of decadence. The very same decadence who lasted for the past five hundred years. This sense of decadence constantly tells you that the destiny of Venice is to be reclaimed by water. It seem to say that this city should not be out there, as Venice really is a dream. Don’t trust those who try to sell it to you as an hit and run destination. Take your time. Buy a map and then burn it. Get lost and don’t ask for directions! Venice is best seen with the heart. Any other superficial view leave one blind. Allow yourself to resonate with the hidden vibration of this place. So, if you visit this dream, by day or by night, check with yourself whether you gained a deeper sense of beauty, if so then you learned to speak in its language. And when you’ll leave remember to keep this language for yourself, as not many will understand you.  And remember that Venice is an elegant, beautiful lady. You’ll have to be patient in courting her, but if she’ll be generous it will pay off and you will know what beauty really means.

Photo by A.G. Busetto

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