Venice was our final stop and was one of the strangest places I’ve been. While on the outside it looks much like all the other old Italian cities, it was only a phantom shell. The whole sinking city felt like a ghost town. As the sun went down I half expected the wealthy shoppers and the glittering jewelry displays and the cheery gondoliers to vanish into the thick fog to rise again with the sun. It was abandoned buildings and decaying facades. ‘Elegant decay’ and ‘artificial respirator of tourism’ is how our guide book aptly described it.
It was a beautiful city. There are no cars, so it is very pleasantly walkable, and the tiny brick ‘roads’ with tall buildings on either side made it feel like a maze sized just for grownups. We gave up trying to figure out which curving little path we were currently on, and got thoroughly lost for the afternoon. And Ryan found a wallet at a fourth generation leather maker that was exactly what he wanted.
We didn’t ride in a gondola, but they were beautiful.
Ryan chose some fruit for us to snack on. He has the knack for selecting the best produce.
I wanted to sing the Mary Poppins song at this lady, but Ryan prevented it.
This was one of the most delicious foods we ate in Italy. Translated to ‘Special Toast’ it was the chef’s choice of toppings, then broiled, and drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with oregano. No substitutions or requests.
Completely lost, but enjoying the journey.
These ducks were hoping for a better handout than orange peels.
Just chillin in a sidewalk cafe on St Mark’s Square.
Wishing for a boat.
And that, my friends, was the end of our trip to Italy.