Venice

Venezia? ...Beh: Day 05

I'm so glad to say that the fog has lifted. I found a way to release the anger stewing inside me yesterday. And the only reason its icy core lifted from my soul was because my parents affirmed even the most obvious concern of mine.

This city is a little much.

Did I not warn you adequately? There are prominent, salient differences between the exploitation of Venezia and the effervescent culture of Firenze. It's as if each business has sold its soul to the tourism devil and their jaded and weathered employees can't even muster up civility towards those to whom they must cater. Everyone must have tried to speak to them in their broken Italian and expect the luxuries they receive in their home countries, regardless of whether they are normally present here. This place, if not worn to the tip, could be an honest treasure left from the development of medieval Italy.

I loved the relentless bashing of Venetian culture that occurred last night on the shore of the Grand Canal. Ma with her quarter-liter and Dad and I with our liter nightcaps had just settled on a lie to get us out of Venice, stat! And our frantic run around this rat maze of a city should have made me burst with laughter, Mom in desparate need of two gelati and Dad needing two bottles of vino and a little boy's room. We were three middle school children, thrilled with the freedom of our own hotel room, our own Euros, and the ability to eat and drink as much junk as possible.

€200 a night to stay on the Grand Canal in a room reminiscent of a Griswald family Euro-vacation, but after a day of anxiousness and mistakes, it was a night I truly appreciated.

Why does everyone feel the urge to travel to Venice? Is their city slogan "Venice...come feel the love." With expectations so high, this city tries too hard to deliver and in turn forfeits their own culture and tradition. If they want such an ambiance, they should haul in Disney's management team to swoop in and create the dream effect.Tomorrow will hopefully be an early morning. A 6:43am train ride that delivers me to my soul's homecoming, like my very own parade.

Gosh, this writing style had better quickly improve before these inspirational moments seap through my fingers into just a pile of poorly dictated thoughts.

[Piu' tarde...]

At three in the morning, the city of Venice is a city for the purse vendors and gypsies. Windows wide bring in no sounds of laughter, footsteps, or blaring TVs. The only clunks in the night come from the tightly packed boats in the Grand Canal. Crossing the threshold into a completely silent Venice is a haunting idea. So peaceful and completely ominous, a surreal environment pulling me in like a dangerous country or a seedy bar. That's the only Venice I care to believe in.

This Is How You Make Italy Ugly: Day 03

Mountains near Lake Como

Bellaggio, where are all the cruise ships? This city screams of elderly tourism and unfriendly locals. It may have been the crowd on our ferry over from the ever-pleasant Lenno - and I hate to be ungrateful - but it pains me that such a view, such mountain and lake air, such green and flowering beauty is witnessed and exploited by so many, like a young prodigal musician. Such visual noise and distraction causes the natural music of the Alps to be muted as I sit here on the boardwalk.

It's the view of my bedroom painting, and from now on, the experience of just looking at it will also be an audible one, bringing back memories of grandeur and unpleasantries. It seems one cloud is slowly growing from within, beginning a slow and steady reach toward my bench, like a flower toward the morning sun.

Ugh. I just witnessed the brutal homicide of a winged insect by an inquisitive finch. In his dance to impress me, he found the poor thing resting on the iron railing, without thinking, grabbing him completely in his beak and brought him to the gravel where his wings were ripped from his body. It sort of pleased me to find the tiniest smidgeon of nature and life in this city supposedly screaming with it. This is a Great Wall moment.

Where is my dormant passion, the flutter that feels nothing like indigestion but of utter joy. Tiny increments of hope arise more and more each day, and I hope they continue. But I worry the death of a student has produced the most unaware adult - at least temporarily. A little girl and a monster tulip - a good image, maybe I'm getting closer to my heart.