Venice: The Beautiful, Quiet and Slow Big City (Travel Blog #7)
After taking a somewhat crazy train ride for most of the day (cue up Ozzy Ozbourne), We arrive in Venice at twilight.
As we are walking through the tiny alleys of Venice, with our luggage at dusk, the question occurs to me:
How do you take a picture of Venice? On the one hand there is nothing in particular to see. On the other hand every single turn is filled with a dream-like magic.
A cornucopia of colors, thousands of years of stories and dreams carried in each cobblestone and every brick that’s piled on top of the other. The quality of the air at sunset thick with romance. The energy of the back streets, vibrant and alive, and at times so unbelievably and profoundly silent and still that one can easily touch that something I can only describe in this moment as sacred. The array of aromas that fill the air at every turn, The incredible food with recipes passed down for generations. The sunshine as it gently beats upon your neck in the afternoon just below the brim of your hat. The children playing gleefully in the piazza. When they speak Italian to each other it sounds like music.. and IS.
How can a picture capture that moment when you are joyfully and willfully getting lost in the back alleys only to find a ristorante or cafe pop up that seems like it was perfectly created for you?
There are some streets that are overrun with tourists. When you get away from those you discover your own attractions and perhaps even the silence of your own Self.
There are only two ways to travel through the city of Venice, By boat or by foot, Venice is a city of canals and walk ways. It is one of the largest car-free cities in the world. This means the city is free of the sound of mechanized vehicles, except for the very rare sound of a motor boat. It also means no one is traveling fast, as the overwhelming amount of people in the city are traveling by walking, or by Gondola. These two qualities of quiet and slow, yet vibrant and alive, are in my view the foundation of what makes Venice so special and unique..
It is my wish that more cities will create car-free, pedestrian zones for the health and well-being of us all. The noise pollution, air pollution, traffic jams, car accidents, threat to pedestrians, and speed of movement, are incompatible with a high quality of life, civic and creative engagement, in dense urban areas.
Its difficult to have a stimulating conversation at an outdoor cafe while a caravan of giant, and incredibly noisy, trucks, cars and motocycles continuosly drive on a road about 5 feet in front of you and spew exhaust in your face. In so much of the world now this is what it has meant to be “developing”. We can consciously intend to “develop” into whatever we want.
(For more videos and pics from this past week in Venice follow me on Facebook and Instagram)
Upcoming travel schedule:
July 5th – July 6th Instanbul Turkey
July 6th – 13th(Estimate) Egypt