Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. Before this trip I talked to people who had been there and I received diametrically different opinions. The two men I spoke to said that Venice was full of dilapidated buildings and was marshy and green- hardly romantic! While the women gushed about its beauty. I, of course, was enamoured by some photographs clicked by my friend Smita Deshpande, and wanted to see it for myself.
The truth is that Venice can get pretty claustrophobic during the tourist season. Around 60000 tourists arrive in Venice each day and most stay overnight. The locals are up in arms against the huge cruise ships which bring passengers each day, and there are regulations now coming in force which restrict the number of cruise ships. In the day it can get very irritating to jostle shoulders with so many people and one has to be careful of pickpockets in the narrow alleys and lanes of Venice. Nevertheless, Venice is an architectural marvel. To think that in that age, people built these buildings right up to the edge of the water on these tiny islands is remarkable.
We were in Venice just after our hike up the Path of the Gods, and we definitely wanted to take it easy after that exhausting walk. There is a lot of history and art in this town which inspired several Renaissance artists and writers. Two days is certainly not enough to learn enough. If destiny wills, we will return again to learn all about the history. As of now, don’t ask me what is what. I didn’t bother to learn.
This time all I wanted to do was to capture the essence of Venice through my camera. So at the crack of dawn, when the moon had still not set, we went out to discover a different Venice. Sans the tourists, devoid of the cacophony, pristine, pure with just the sea breeze tousling our hair. See Venice through my camera, like you’ve never seen before.