Saturday Night Lights – Venice, Italy | Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.
Somewhere In Time is a weekly photo from around the world. Enjoy!
It’s a place I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I’ve shouted my declarations of love for this city before (see: Venice After Dark Photo Essay) and I’ve always said that the best thing about Venice is being out at night. Sure, it’s beautiful during the day but at night it shines, it glitters, it takes you by the hand and leads you to the dance.
After dark Venice comes to life in a way I have yet to see in any other place on earth.
People laugh loudly and genuinely, children run around the squares, lovers sip wine, friends gather for an apéritif and cicchetti (small tapas style Venetian appetizers). Everyone goes out at night and just seems to hang around enjoying life. There is always somewhere to go or nowhere to go – it all seems the same. To me, Venice embodies the quote: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Wherever you are in Venice is just the right place to be, there is no need to be anywhere else.
When I am in Venice I don’t feel like a traveler, I feel like I am home and when it comes time to leave I always think – why?
There are no cars, mopeds or bikes – just the sound of water gently lapping, boats bringing people around town and high heeled women walking on cobblestones. On top of being an explosion of visual wonders, Venice is also like being in auditory heaven – a moveable soundtrack that follows you wherever you go from square to square. I LOVE it. If you get the chance to go to Venice you should. It is 100% worth it. There is nowhere else like it on earth. There are a lot of places that claim to be like Venice just because they have canals. Don’t buy it. There is no other Venice – just this one.
But when you go I need you to promise me a few things. Promise me that you will go out at night, you will wander aimlessly through the alleys, you will not freak out when you get lost (and you most definitely will get lost) because losing yourself in Venice is half of the fun.
Promise me you’ll explore the city after night falls and everything changes. That is when she becomes a true beauty queen, set apart from all other cities.
As a side note: please also promise me that you will not eat at any of the restaurants that have a glowing menu out front because they are all terrible! ALL of them. Save your money.
Ok, onto the photo…
This photo was taken in St. Mark’s Square. This is the most famous square in Venice, the one that floods and the place you want to go to feed the pigeons. To give you an idea of where I was when I took the photo: St. Mark’s Basilica would be right behind me and a few hundred feet to my left would be the water and a row of gondolas gently bobbing up and down. To my right would be alleys, restaurants and shops. This is probably the most touristy area of Venice and during the day it can be mayhem. That’s why you need to go at night when everyone is less interested in taking photos and more interested in socializing. This photo was originally part of the Venice After Dark photo essay but because it’s one of my favorites, yet easily overlooked, I felt it needed it’s own special space in the big world wide web and that’s why I am featuring it here.
I was wandering around the square in kind of in a strange awe – you know the kind you get when you have a real connection with a place and are seeing it for the first time? I saw this little gang of teenagers walking out of the square and they caught my eye. My first thought was “Do they live here or are they here on vacation with their families?” It didn’t seem like they lived in Venice so my next thought was something like: “Wow. They are SO lucky. I can’t imagine the impact seeing a place like this would’ve had on me as a teenager. Imagine if I knew a place like Venice existed when I was like 16 years old, etc. etc…” Of course, I knew Venice existed but just knowing something exists doesn’t mean much until you see it yourself. Going to Venice as a teenager would’ve changed my life because I think it would’ve led to me studying abroad. Not studying abroad is probably one of my biggest regrets and the truth is I was just too scared to do it. I couldn’t imagine being so far away – roaming the streets of Venice at 16 would have definitely changed things for me.
So as I saw this group of friends walking so effortlessly and confidently across the cobblestones all of these thoughts were just running through my mind. I couldn’t help but wonder – was Venice changing any of their lives? Would they look back on this trip and realize it had a huge effect on them? Did it? What did they do in the days after I took this photo? What are they doing now? Was this night in St. Mark’s Square the catalyst to any change in the story of their lives?
I have absolutely no idea. But to me that’s the beauty of a moment in time – there is no answer. There is only what exists right there at that exact second. What came before and what comes after are all separate spaces in time.
This photos is one of my favorites from Venice – it may not have any famous landmarks in it or any of the traditional Venetian gondolas but who cares – it has something completely different. It has a moment of youthful life – those glorious days when friendship, spunk & fearlessness collided into one. The days when your friends mattered more to you than anything else and you walked around like you owned the world. Long before you cared about what type of job you had or how your 5 year plan was shaping up.
The days when you wore your heart on your sleeve and stood out in a crowd. Just like Venice.
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