To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.”
– Alexander Herzen
It was a beautiful day. The weather was in the mid-70s and the sun was cheerfully peering between the buildings.
My mother, aunt, and I had caught a bus to the island from our hotel deep on the mainland.
We stopped at a local bakery and purchased some goodies. I was surprised by how affordable everything was.
As we passed through the town, I marveled at the maturity of the buildings. I thought about how warm and unique they must be inside. For a moment, I regretted not staying on the island.
I’ve read that the canals have been polluted over the years with human and manufactured waste. It made me sad to know that no one can swim, bathe, or fish in the waters here as they do in Allapuzha, Kerala.
We stumbled across a plaza. The church bells are ringing and people are walking around with a purpose and confidence that only belongs to locals.
We entered the church, slowly, and marveled at its glory. It was not like the Duomos of Milan or Florence. It was designed to exude muted majesty. It felt like a home.
After we prayed and lit a candle, we exited the church and felt a slight drizzle. No one had thought to bring an umbrella, so we ducked into a clothing shop to wait for the weather to clear up.
The rain ceased as suddenly as it had appeared, so we resumed our long trek to the famous Rialto Bridge.
The bridge was crowded with tourists and merchants, every one respectful and excited to be in Italy. We expected more from the view and were far too hungry feign being impressed. We left quickly, eager to get a late lunch.
I had read about the popular local bar al Merca and was eager to try it out. The plaza was full of people when we arrived. We found a seat and I ordered a glass of Due Santi Zonta Cabernet and two Speck e Gorgonzola sandwiches. My total was 6€.
Since my mother and aunt do not drink and we were far too hungry to only eat cichetti, we decided to order dinner from Barcollo– a lovely, no-frills restaurant and bar in the same plaza as al Merca.
As evening began to fall, we slowly made our way back to Rialto Bridge to catch the sunset.
We got lost along the way, but in the process, we stumbled across artist Lorenzo Quinn’s incredible environmental awareness fixture.
By providing the backdrop of discussions on recent breakthroughs between business executives, scientists, and political figures from around the world, the city is demonstrating its evolving commitment to ensuring a safer and healthier Venice for generations to come.” – Kimberly Sung
Italy’s famed city of Venice has grappled with flooding and encroaching waters since the Middle Ages. But as global warming speeds up sea level rise, the charming destination is steadily slipping underwater.” – Maria Gallucci
By the time we made it back to the bridge, darkness had fallen. The view was startlingly beautiful– certainly more striking than earlier in the afternoon. As the crowds thickened, we snapped a few photos and continued on our way.
At the bridge I stood
lately in the brown night.
From afar came a song:
as a golden drop it welled
over the quivering surface.
Gondolas, lights, and music —
drunken it swam out into the twilight.
My soul, a stringed instrument,
sang to itself, invisibly touched,
a secret gondola song,
quivering with iridescent happiness.
— Did anyone listen to it?”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
As the night drew to a close, we found ourselves wandering the streets as if drunk. Everything began to move faster than expected. The restaurants transitioned into bars and people began to stumble through the sidewalks.
Our time in Venice had come to a close. We hopped on a government ferry, filled many times over capacity, and returned to the mainland.