I'm in between films, with no coherent set of photos worth making a decent post. So I thought for now I'd take you to the most beautiful place I know (yes, I am aware that is saying a lot): Venice.
I was going to write "my favorite place on earth", but it sounded overly categorical and I don't think I have a favorite place on earth, cherishing a few special ones for such different reasons that I just cannot compare them - like most of us, I suppose. Then I thought of what adjective I could employ to best describe this incredible little island that is slowly sinking down into its lagoon, under the weight of centuries of history, culture and walking feet: Paris might be romantic, Berlin underground, Barcelona eclectic and so on so forth, and each of these cities is obviously so much more than just an adjective and has multiple souls. Thank God. But hey, if you say give me one adjective for Venice, in the end the truest I could come up with was "beautiful". Yes, as trite as that. But to me, no other place is such a miracle and a pleasure for the eyes.
The first time I went there, at least the first time that counts, I had just finished high school. I remember how easily I immediately sled into the unique rhythm of the city, constantly in awe feeling that in this place the unreal was made of stones, wood and water, the impossible became possible, and I was participating in all of that. That Venice is better than any movie set you could ever imagine, but it's real: I was walking up and down those bridges, hearing people speak their dialect, buying fish at the market etc. It felt like each everyday part of existence there was an aesthetic experience and I wanted that for me. I wanted to live there.
Ten days later I moved to Venice and stayed for three years.
I moved out in 2014 and have gone back a few times since, every time asking myself why I don't go more often. Each time is... healing, enchanting, fun, humid, relaxing, crowded, surprising, salty, comforting, inspiring, solitary, soothing, adventurous, silent, colorful - see, Venice has more adjectives than just "beautiful".
I called this a time-lapse because you'll find photos taken at any of those occasions, spanning from 2011 until 2017, either with an old Olympus (that sadly didn't survive the Venetian trip...), a Diana F+ lomography camera or my current Nikon FM2. As always, no filter, and the double exposures are totally analogical.
Flooding (acqua alta) is a known phenomenon in Venice - or at least it's been for a very long time. It's part of the yearly cycle and dwellers know well how to live with it. I remember well the alarm echoing in the air from the far distance at 7 AM, a few times a year in the winter and spring, to tell us "hey, flooding expected today, don't forget your knee-high rubber boots this morning!". But the levels reached in the past weeks are worrying, heart-breaking to witness from a distance and back-breaking for the locals who have to physically fight against it to try and keep living a normal life. I wish I could say that the whole apocalyptic discours about Venice becoming Atlantis in a few decades is non-sense, but unfortunately I'm not too sure... All I can say is do go to Venice and please do that intelligently: stay at least three days, choose a good guide book (this one is great for Corto Maltese's lovers) and one of the many many authors that have been inspired by Venice in time to keep you company (Bukowski is a favorite), get lost multiple times until you feel like you're starting to get to know the different neighborhoods (I promise, you can't go wrong, every spot is worth seeing), don't stay in an AirBnb (baaaad for Venetian real estate!!) but in a responsible and cozy place like Federica's Suite735 (if you can't afford it, you can always email her to ask for other suggestions), look for local, fresh food, enjoy the simple and very affordable joy of cicchetti instead of eating frozen pizza (I warned you!), remember that San Marco is great but there's so much more to visit (Palazzo Grimani is a recent favorite of mine)... Oh, and, no big cruise ships, obviously. LOL
2019 is coming to an end. The tour guide in me sees the end of yet another touristic season, and the simple human being sees an excuse to take some rest, reput some things into perspective and hope for a bright year ahead. I wish you all a great holiday season, plenty of love, adventure and coziness. I'll see you back here with more photos, stories and guided tours :)