So, Jenn and I spent some time planning this day the night before and concluded the following… we were pretty well done with Venice.
NOTE: If you don’t want to read negative thoughts, skip this post. I am going to speak freely about Venice as compared to other places we’re visiting. I DO believe that Venice is worth a day – two and interesting to experience briefly, but, the following are my honest thoughts, so take them for what you will.
We plain and simple planned too much time in Venice. To my untrained eye, Venice is unbelievably homogenous. As mentioned previously, St. Mark’s is quite impressive, as impressive as St. Peter’s or any other we’ve seen. Other than that, though, There are very few places where you could drop me in Venice where I would know exactly where I was. All of the streets are of similar width, all of the squares are of similar size (Campo San Polo is slightly larger).
Rialto, while distinct, is some sort of queer bottlenecked crap selling mall. I have seen the same 40 masks and cups of fruit in so many places, I don’t even see them anymore. (Note, I have now seen the same stuff in Verona, along with the same international football jerseys. Still boring.)
And you know what else? Venice stinks, but not in the manner for which we had prepared. I had been warned that it smelled, like sewage in my imagination. But, in fact, the stink was different. We had major mold problems in the anteway of our apartment… black crap hanging from the ceiling. If you arrive at this post based on the key word www.veniceapartments.org, know now that you might want to avoid veniceapartments.org or venice altogether.
On top of that, Venice smells like smoke constantly. The Italians smoke a lot. We passed a picture of a famous composer whose music was going to be played in a concert. He had been photographed, intentionally, with a cigarette in his hand. It struck me that in our culture, that would be an embarrassment. In fact, it’s been 50 years or so since Sinatra thought it was cool to be caught with that in a photograph. Not the Italians, though. They still flaunt it, enough so that I swear I took more polluted breaths in Venice than anywhere I can remember. Frankly, the air doesn’t seem to circulate very well.
So, now that my negative thoughts are well documented, I can move on. We decided that we didn’t need to kill time in Venice… we needed to get out. So, we canceled the last day of our apartment to the extent we could, and planned for only one more day. We decided to go for some “fresher” art, and made our way across town to the Peggy Guggenheim museum, which focuses on more modern art, early 1900’s. This worked out well because the art was more appealing to the children in our group, Aspen, Oakley, Lindy, and Tim. In fact, we took a good tip from a book for children and had the girls sketch their own copies of some of the art. Once we return to the states, I’ll be sure to post some of their work. When the rain came, we even added another piece or two to their repertoire.
I want it noted, though, that by about 3pm, we had already had gelato twice. And by 9pm, we had added a third. It was a good day in that regard. The freedom that came from departing a day early was excellent.
We wallowed in the sage decision to leave early, and prepared for our departure. Day 15 would take us away from Venice, and we were happy about it.