A few, incomplete, unranked, unordered impressions that I noted in my Moleskine journal when leaving Venice in early October, 2011, a task like attempting to sketch falling leaves in Autumn. Ah, the delight of the work their consideration portends!
I would love for you to share yours in return!
- The contrast between the unurbanized velme and barene and the islands of humanity in the vast Lagoon.
- The difficulty in grasping images and the lure of fleeting vistas, while traversing the narrow, focused calli.
- So many striking skyline landmarks glimpsed through the stone forest of buildings.
- The starkness of campi when not brought to life by cafes, kiosks, markets, and people gathered for food, conversation and play.
- The unreal peacefulness of the gardens, and the stunning size of older trees.
- The late hour at which the City awakens.
- The mysteries of so many untraditional building orientations.
- The Rii Terra obscuring centuries of urban pattern.
- The transiency and flexibility of occupancy in buildings sacred and secular, public and private.
- The immense scale and impact of historical religious communities – chiesi, monastari and monachi.
- The number and richness of private courts and cloisters.
- Meaning and grace in the 3-dimensionality of movement – over bridges, into and out of rii and canali, and through campi.
- The vertical and horizontal modulation of spaces.
- Formalized casualness.
- Performance art, both ritualized and spontaneous.
- The warm, graceful inclusion and celebration of
visitorsguests who respect and share.
- Common courtesy in constrained circumstance and its corollary, the avarice of those who deny others’ personal space.
- Energy and urgency without haste or distress.
- The hubristic incompetence of the naive or intentionally unprepared.
- Being a flaneur* in Venice is hard work…
“Venice is Not for the Lazy!”
* flaneur: One in a process of navigating erudition (Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “why I walk” in the The Black Swan – see Bibliography page). “A person who walks the city in order to experience it.” – Charles Baudelair. Combine those with “A person with a complete philosophical way of living and thinking”, and you might have it!
Now go and do!