I woke the next morning to the sound of a trolly left outside my door laden with a delightful breakfast of croissants, preserves, and juice. The church bells ring to the tune of “figaro” and it makes me giggle. I fix my plate and an espresso, hop back into bed, prop my velvet pillows behind me and re-adjust my attitude from the day before.

Then my day started with a little wandering. It’s not until one is fully lost that they really learn to navigate. And I did just that. By the afternoon I was giving directions to other tourists if you can believe it. Yay me!

Today I was present in this beautiful city. I let it touch me. I observed a woman direct her lover with his camera, watching her dismay unfold at the realization that he was not taking the picture she had imagined in her head. He turned to me with desperation in his half smile and held his camera up. “Yes”. I say “let me”. And so I direct them both on this beautiful bridge, gesturing him to hold her waist, to look at her. She smiled and nodded in approval. “Gratzie” they say .”Prego”.

Then in another ally I smile at the elderly couple ahead. Frail as he may be, he holds her arm as they walk.

Here in Venice these overt displays of affection are not cliches. Lovers holding hands, stopping to embrace or kiss. In this age where finding a love has become a sort of noncommittal business of swiping ones finger over a selfie, it was refreshing to say the least. Romance, whether it be with a lover, or through art or with the city itself, resides here.

I stop for lunch and order octopus carpaccio which encased a mixture of rocket lettuce, olives and sundried tomato. I am satisfied.

I continue on and find myself on my own little bridge. It might have been out of pity watching the springs bust out of my selfie stick, but I am approached by a young man from Milan who offers to take my picture. “Sure”, I say “that would be great”. And I hand him my phone..”no no”, he says, “I am a photographer”. And he pulls out an impressive professional camera. “I’ll take some photos and email them to you when I return”. So he shuffles me from one bridge to another capturing me in this moment and my own love affair with this city.

He invites me to meet his friends who are also traveling alone from various parts of Europe. I engage in a discussion with a young woman from the Ukraine. She tells me, “Of all my travels this city feels like home”. She describes a moment similar to that of mine with the statue of David, where she attended a Vivaldi concert and cried. She said, “Its when you know the story you can fully appreciate. When I saw the Mona Lisa for the first time I was not impressed. Then I learned how long it took him to paint it. How he came back to it over the years to add to it. Now I see that the painting itself reflects this process. When you see Mona when you are sad, you see her sadness. When you feel joy, you see her joy”. Similar for me, I think, as this city. If you feel melancholy you see only what you lack. When you feel contentment, the beauty of this city marches through your soul.

I find myself at the gates of the Guggenheim museum. I love this museum because the building itself was once home to Peggy Guggenheim herself. Again, context breathes life into everything.

From from the inside of the gallery looking out


A storm brews while I finish my tour so I decide to stay and have a spritzer and cheese cake. Trees sway forcefully, shutters smack. Wow, it’s as impressive as the westcoast storms back home.

After exploring some more I decide on a restaurant. This one is traditional Sicilian. I order the mussel soup. The light fragrant broth filled with mussels is covered by pizza dough.

Oh my god! For someone who loves to dip my bread in the mussel sauce, this was such a perfect idea. Pieces of bread broke like cracking ice and inevitably found their way to my spoon. I make noises while I slurp ..kinda like when I sigh:) My white pants, speckled with tomato sauce, captured the moment.

A man plays guitar and sings near me in the piazza while I eat. I’m drunk off the romance of this city. Even alone one cannot help feel love here if you let it. You can’t help notice it around you, to think about it, evaluate it, understand it. And I did just that. So with my heart a little stronger and my perspective a little more balanced, I blow kisses to this city and head towards Spain.