Thursday, August 25, 2011

La Serenissima

Instead of staying in Verona, we boarded a train eastbound for Venezia, hoping to glimpse the island city's fabled beauty before the tides of tourism affecting it had washed away its former self completely. After the bus dropped us off, we waded through the swarms of people and vendors at the main port and made our way into the labyrinth with the intention of getting lost. Almost as soon as we diverged from the main streets, we found that we could wander aimlessly down the narrow streets without seeing another soul. The sound of a city without cars, instead veined by canals of turquoise water, was something we had anticipated but couldn't comprehend until we were embraced by it. Soft sounds of water, footsteps on cobblestone streets, distant accordion tunes, and chatting voices were often punctuated by outbursts of Italian a'cappella echoing across the water and walls. Even the decay of Venezia's buildings occurs in a uniquely elegant way, the presence of so much saltwater conjuring a salinity in the air that washes over everything, eating away at the walls and shutters and creating delicate grades of color and wash.

As we wandered, we spotted a couple of wheat-pasted prints by the artist Swoon, decaying in their own way, above the canals.

We actually saw quite a bit of street art in Venezia - ranging from scribbled declarations of love, stencils of abstract faces and medusas, pencil-drawn portraits directly on the walls, and some wheat-pasted prints and sketches.

We often took breaks from wandering to poke our heads into interesting little shops, get delicious gelato to fight the sweltering heat, or sit by the canals and sketch - watching little fishes and eels swim by our feet and the reflection of the light on the water play across the buildings.

No comments:

Post a Comment