A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him. Arthur Symons
When he breaks into an aria, we roll our eyes in embarrassment. The gondolier passes us with a flourish on the canal. The hint of drama evokes a smile in the elderly couple across from us. This is Venice, where the very air breathes with romance and magic. Every alley and piazza hides a multitude of secrets. The city is a labyrinth of criss-crossing canals and pretty stone bridges. I can’t decide if it is prettier on foot or from the water.
Our vaporetti (water-bus) glides almost silently past gothic-style buildings that line both sides of the canal. The reflection of the Santa Maria della Salute draws a collective gasp from our boat. The marble facade is like pearl drops shimmering luminescently in the water. The church with its magnificent dome and impressive exterior, a Venetian landmark, is beautiful to behold.
Just when I wonder if its early season for tourists, I hear the murmur of crowds. Our vaporetti is approaching the Piazza san Marco (St Mark’s Square). Here is the pulse of the city, where the action lies, and what Napoleon once described as one of the “finest drawing rooms of Europe”.
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This travel piece was published in rediff.com a few years back.