Updated: May 3, 2022
Random thoughts on my new favorite city...
There is no such thing as an Italian speaking in a monotone. Everything sounds terribly exciting when said by an Italian. She might be saying, “I need to buy shampoo,” but it sounds like the most passionate and beautiful thing in the world.
Venetians do not have their phones implanted into their hands, ignoring what goes on around them. They talk to each other. A lot. Nonstop, in fact. No one has their phone out during meals. No one. It’s very refreshing.
Ask four Italians for directions to the same place, and you’ll get four very different answers. “Take the 4.1 to San Marco and change to a southgoing boat.”
“Take the 4.2 north. It goes all the way.”
“The 4.2 doesn’t go to Murano. Take the 3 to Plaza e Roma and change.”
“Get off at San Samuele and walk.”
“This boat no longer goes to San Samuele. It did an hour ago, but it doesn’t now.”
In Venice, one cannot walk in a straight line from A to B. Instead, picture a bumblebee. A drunken bumblebee. That’s how the streets are laid out. And many streets and bridges look exactly the same.
Venetians enjoy tricking tourists by naming streets and bridges the same thing. “Campo Santa Maria Formosa,” “Campo Santa Maria del Giglio,” and “Campo Santa Maria Mater Domini” are all (supposedly) legitimate places. Google Maps was as confused as I was.
You know that little voice feature that guides you? “In 60 feet, take a left onto Main Street.” Well, it kept saying, “Turn around and head 0 feet for Ponte della Something.” For the record, there was no bridge in front of me. I’d turn around. It’d tell me to turn around again. And again. I was getting dizzy.
The dogs are not as friendly in Venice as in American cities. Neither do they go on leashes. They just run ahead of their people. And they never get lost. True Venetians.
No one wears jeans or sneakers except tourists (but not this tourist, I’m proud to report).
I only saw one cat the whole time I was there.
Men are very friendly here. They sing to you, tell you you’re beautiful, stop talking to each other to give you the eye, and call you bella.
Venice seems like a small town. Everyone says, “Ciao, Paolo, Ciao, Maria, Ciao, ciao, ciao.” Makes the city seem so welcoming.
The cappuccino is beyond compare. Eat your heart out, Starbucks.