Art piece by Gianfranco Missiaja - Internationally renowned Venetian Artist who taught design in many Italian Art Institutes for over 21 years / Original art and original prints signed by the artist can be purchased here
I wake up every day smiling with a grateful heart, loving every daily treasure I receive but with a little guilt hidden in me, guilt for being so fortunate in a world where so many unfortunate live.
I feel selfish for only taking care of my own life and well being and often wonder if I will ever be worthy of all those wonderful blessings I am so abundantly enjoying. Just one of those many blessings was my recent trip to Venice. I've been meaning to write about this magnificent Floating city for some time now, but I am, to this day lost for words. Where do I start? How do I sum up in a short little blog this Timeless Masterpiece of human imagination and skill, and all of the emotions and love it has inspired in me? Impossible. Thousands of random thoughts and impressions bubble within my mind. All words seem to have lost their vibrant pallet and far too bland to exhibit my sentiments in a colourful enough way that can correctly depict my reality in those few days.
Feeling the warm wind in my hair, the gentle kisses of the sun on my skin, and the salty air on my lips, trembling in anticipation, looking into the distance where a city, built on wooden pilings in a lagoon off the Adriatic sea had emerged some many centuries ago....needless to say, even the very topography of Venice had an arresting effect on me. As the boat was slowing down and I stood breathless, gazing at the St. Mark's Basin where the Grand and Giudecca Canals merge, and the glorious Gothic architecture can enchant every last human fibre in me, I was certain I could hear "Pur ti miro, Pur ti godo" on the background as that pompous display of beauty resembled more an opulent Opera stage than a cityscape.
And if all that was not enough for my fragile, impressionable soul, I stepped out straight from my boat into a 14th century Byzantine Gothic Style Castle ie the lobby of the hotel. Looking at the lavish, unusual interiors with white turrets and balconies with pointed arches, bridges connecting the hotel buildings, 17th Century art hanging on the walls and fine antique rugs over the marble floors, was just as overwhelming as knowing that legends like Dickens, Bernstein, Ruskin and George Sand have walked on those very grounds I have my feet on. By the time I reached my room and opened the small balcony overlooking the Magnificent Venice Lagoon, I felt like I need someone to pinch me, just to make sure that all this is actually happening to me and not some sugary dream invented by my own vivid imagination. How splendid to learn that all that delightful grandeur was only a small dust particle of what Galaxy Venice had in store for me. It will take me a life time studying all the Art my eyes devoured over those few days I spent in Venice. Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Giorgione, Carpaccio, Pisanello ....I was in a Renaissance heaven. Combine this with grand architecture, centuries of history, vibey little streets with small family shops and restaurants, romantic bridges, gondolas and boats as public transport, Murano glass ornaments and hand made Venetian masks staring at you from every corner, delicious food and smiling people, and you will have just a smudged image of the magic Venice possess. To top it all up, for the first time in over 10 years, I've decided to make fuss of a day that only reminds me how long I have lived without attaining much.
At least, I was fortunate enough to have my only achievement sited next to me at La Fenice, and handing me a tissue when I burst into tears after the final act of Madama Butterfly. An absolutely smashing performance by Vittoria Yeo and mesmerising stage decor and costumes by the Internationally- renowned Mariko Mori. Containing my emotions in those moments where overboard excitement meets intellectual and visual exhaustion, was not at all possible. Realising that even the little I have planned to see and do, was far too much to soak in into a permanent hold, was pushing the drama queen in me to the surface. I was turning into a neurotic, overly ardent brat who was already frantically planning the next Venice trip while sobbing with emotion and writing down all books that needed to be read before the departure. I have no idea how my poor child deals with me without shuffling to insanity. If my mother was to behave like this on our holiday, I won't be very keen on more than one trip per decade.
I am still reflecting on all the excitement that Venice has brought into my life, reading and learning of how little I actually know. Desperately trying to educate myself on the vast interior of the world, and the endless human invention and power. "It's a Great Day to be Alive" as Travis Tritt sings.
Travel, Learn, Love............and don't forget to smile!
"We danced our youth in a dreamed-of city Venice
Paradise proud and pretty
We lived for love and lust and beauty
Pleasure then our only duty
Floating then 'twixt heaven and earth
And drunk on plenty's blessed mirth
We thought ourselves eternal then
Our glory sealed by God's own pen
But paradise we found is always frail
Against man's fear will always fail. "
from Dangerous Beauty Scrip
An interesting video about Venice today and how the city works Venice Backstage