Saturday, October 20, 2007

The World's Most Beautiful City

This morning, my aunt Sylvia, who has traveled extensively for many years, confirmed what I suspected: Venice is the most beautiful city in the world. I was only there for three days (and half of that time was ill — possibly because of something I ate) but was still enraptured. In a mask store called Ca'Macana near S. Marco Basilica, a lovely saleswoman named Kiaiti Saliha talked about Venice's allure. She was born in Algeria, but moved to Venice 26 years ago, she told me. "I loved Venice from the first time I have seen it," she said, apologizing for her English, which I assured her, was better than my Italian. "It's like first love. You cannot forget it." Venice was her destiny, she said, and where she wanted "to finish."

"Everything in this city is art," she said. "The people who have created Venice were so great." Then she paused and added pensively, "I hope that it will still be here for people in the future so they can see what it is."

I hope so, too.



ClaireWalter said...

I second your Aunt Sylvia's nomination of Venice as the most beautiful city -- at least, the most beautiful I ever visited. I have been there three times -- once in May before it got too hot, once in November after it cooled off again and once in mid-winter, for two cold, crisp sunny days that were beyond glorious. It wasn't during Carnival, so I didn't share that magic, but it was low season but splendid. No crowds anywhere, and a warm, wecloming ambiance in every restaurant or cafe. I derive great pleasure from taking a map and wandering around for hours, exploring small streets and seeing what's around the corner. Thank you and your Aunt Sylvia for reminding me how much I enjoyed doing so in Venice.
Claire @

Terese Loeb Kreuzer said...

Claire, thanks so much for writing about Venice. I loved what you said. And I'm envious! That you've been to Venice three times in different seasons. Even in the three days I spent there, I saw how the light and color change from moment to moment. My last night there, I awoke to a bright light shining through my window. It was Venus, the morning star, brighter in Venice than I have ever seen her in New York — and I said to myself, "What's this city up to now?" Enchantment, that's what.