The first time I fell in love with literature was when I studied “The Merchant of Venice” as my literature text in school. Ever since then, I’ve been enamoured by a romanticised image of Venice and its beautiful canals. So naturally, when I was planning my graduation trip to Europe, I made it a point to at least have a day trip to Venice, just to see if Venice in real life was a mirror of what Venice was in my head. I readied myself for what Venice was most famous for : her beauty.
The first thing that greets you when you leave the train terminal in Venice, is the vast majority of tourists, and a huge body of water running through the city. And you know what? That’s really Venice, encapsulated in a single sentence. A city, with a heck lot of tourists, and a huge body of water running through it.
Walking through Venice, you can’t help but get struck by how empty the buildings are. Everything was abandoned. I remember making a joke about how it resembled the movie set of “Chernobyl Diaries”. Apart from restaurants and gift shops specifically tailored for tourists, nothing else was opened. The city lived for tourists. The city itself was like a maze. The pathways were narrow and almost at every turn, you would encounter a bridge over water.
Sights of gondolas were sparse within the city, and to my huge disappointment, the gondoliers do not sing.
Suffice to say, Venice quickly became disappointing.
That said, there were a few memorable moments during my short stay in Venice. For one, I had the opportunity to chance upon the most amazing group of buskers, whose enthusiasm and sheer joy from performing compelled me to purchase their CD.
And alright, truth be told, notwithstanding all things said about Venice, she really did turn out to be an incredibly photogenic city.
Did I regret going to Venice? Absolutely not. It was something I had to check off from a list of things to do in Europe. There are just some things that you have to see, and Venice was one of them for me.
Will I come back? No. I’ve seen all that Venice had to offer. She is but a ghost of her old self. If you look at the scars written across the city you could almost imagine how beautiful she was. But that’s all left behind now.
Blue Blazer from Hong Kong / White V-Neck T-shirt from Uniqlo / Cream Chinos from Qoo10.SG / Leather Weave Belt from ASOS / Tasseled Loafers from Dr Martens / Bag from MCM