// All photos in this post are taken by the spectacular, marvelous love of my life, Steven L. Hale //
I love this place. There isn't anything like it. It will erupt within you an artistic cheesiness you didn't think possible. You might just end up slow dancing at midnight in the streets, singing and swaying to the cicada rhythm of the big brass band that, yeah, just happens to play every night. Beware. You're in for it. Waking up on my first morning in Venice, I was stunned.
Shades of peach, slate, mandarin and emerald strike a reluctant harmony with the sweltering sky. Sweating in the humid noon sun, old paint peels off into the murky lagoon water. Plaster lazily chips away from its ancient structures, the stone underneath exposed like the forbidden height of a gartered thigh. Brick, once heartily bearing the weight of an era, now easily crumbles to the touch. This floating city made its name by comfortably supporting a thousand years of life on its latticework of islands. This is Venezia. My feet float over the bridge. I am barely able to contain the gasping thrill within my belly.
Now I see why the world's foremost artists, painters, musicians and bright minds found themselves amongst these crowded, echoey streets. Once a town of forbidden affairs, lavish parties and casino-esque night life, Venice is now just a hint of what was once a gallant and sensual city of watery lights. Yet it still maintains a decaying decadence that whispers of an older age, a past life of vibrance and debauchery. Sipping cappuccino in the early morning, devouring pizza and gelato in the afternoon, and laughing the evening away in a dance of vino rosso and limoncello will leave your limbs tired and your heart oh so full. My memory is a messy slide show of fragrant, loud images; the filmy, striped onyx blouse of the gondola man, the pouty red lips of the aggravated waitress, the golden look of love from my husband who dreamed of bringing me here years before we were ever together. What a culmination of dreams. So many vibrato melodies waft through the canals of Venice; I am lucky if I am able to recognize just one of the tunes. Venice will make you want to sing. And dance. And eat. And write poetry. And you should do them all.