I have always wanted to visit Venice. Especially after reading The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt, who also famously wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
If you haven’t read the book, it brings Venice to life in much the same way as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil does for Savannah. All of the Venetians Berendt features seems completely free-spirited and brilliant and crazy, and he makes Venice seem totally unique and intriguing – which it is.
In the book, the city itself feels so magical and insane and amazingly compelling that by the end, you feel an almost physical need to get there ASAP.
I first read it over 5 years ago, so I definitely didn’t get there quickly, but it was worth the wait.
The city is decaying, maybe sinking, and definitely in the midst of a really, really delicate ecosystem. It all feels so fleeting and precious, and I loved it the second our train pulled into the train station (on tracks surrounded on both sides by water).
Despite the fact that the November weather was mostly rainy and overcast, I was thankful that we visited when we did.
I’ve heard a lot about how crowded with tourists the tiny island becomes, with many cruise ships dropping off day trippers during the high season, which is March – October, so I was really happy to miss the overwhelming tourist rush.
We were able to take in the key sites – including the Basilica di San Marco, which is famous for its long lines – very easily, which freed up time for some important stuff, like getting lost in the windy back streets, taking a gondola ride and enjoying chicchetti.
I felt so lucky to be there.