Water and stone are soothing to me, so it’s no surprise that I love Venice with its jade green canals and its stone pathways. As soon as I stepped onto those narrow streets last week, I felt calmed. I wore my hard heeled boots, so that each step clacked and resonated with the marble and Istrian stone of the buildings towering over me.
My friend and I didn’t do much traditional touring — no tours, no following long lines of crowds into well trodden iconic buildings. Mostly we just wandered, getting comfortably lost among the twisting, narrow streets. We let each turn lead us where it may, whether to some small, empty square or dead ending at a canal. We found our way into churches and observed their historic beauty in the dim light. Sometimes we were brought us to the door of some hidden-away restaurant, a quiet spot away from the bustle of San Marco Square.
Our second main focus of the trip — eating copious amounts of delicious pasta, pizza, fresh seafood, gelato. I was introduced to the Aperol Spritz, a bright red, lightly sweet and bitter drink that I included with almost every lunch or afternoon appetizer.
Walking by a real estate office, I was surprised to learn that the cost of purchasing or renting a home in the city is quite reasonable (particularly in comparison to my current rental prices in California). Of course, there are downsides to the city — massive crowds of tourists so thick you wan barely walk down certain streets, flooding that seems to be getting worse year by year. But a part of me still took a moment to daydream about living in Venice among all its stone and water and carving out an artists life of being perpetually lost in these labyrinthine streets, drinking coffee in the morning, Spritz in the afternoon, and writing to my heart’s content.