Ahhh, so glad to be out of Rome. Dont get me wrong, I loved all the history. In Rome, the history comes in one dense layer after another: Renaissance revivals of ancient Roman art and architecture, borrowed from and piled onto Greek and even Egyptian works, and if you go deep enough you even get to the prehistoric Etruscans. And dont forget the whole Christianity-started-here-and-spread-worldwide thing. Both totally fascinating and utterly bewildering. However, the modern version of Rome - the throngs of people, the brutal traffic, the heartstopping prices - have exacted their toll, and Im happy to be out of there.
Venice solves at least one of those problems: there are no cars here at all! Its glorious, I tell you. I envision a utopia in which every city is like that. Venice is also old, crumbling, and very beautiful.
If Rome walked straight out of a history book, then Venice was lifted from the pages of a fairy tale. Its like two mazes in one: a network of alleys and passageways running from one plaza to another, occasionally dead ending at a charming ivy covered wall, a tiny waterway, or if youre lucky the grand canal. The other maze is inaccessible to me, since Im not aquatic: dozens and dozens of canals weave their way in and out of everywhere, sometimes taking over your path and other times rolling peacefully alongside you. Naturally, the art of the bridge is a mainstay here. The fun of exploring (aka getting lost) in all the twisty streets, the faded elegance of the shuttered buildings, the sparkle of la canale grande at night: together they add up to a downright beguiling locale.
Plus, Ive been able to slow down, take a breath, do some relaxing, some writing, and even some laundry. And thats been appreciated at least as much as the charm of Venice.