Venice – A Tour Led by the Heart and Soul
There are times in life when one must refuse to accept the conventional wisdom. To steadfastly reject the way things have always been done. Those are the powerful moments when we realize that we must trust our heart and soul to guide us. With that in mind, as you plan your visit to Venice put away the travel guidebooks for now, and let these four extraordinary writers show you Venice in a way that will capture your heart and inspire your soul.
My first trip to Venice was in 1996. I was shocked to discover that it was possible to fall madly in love with a place. I thought such levels of intoxication were reserved for other human beings. They are not. Mary McCarthy described Venice as a “folding picture postcard of itself.” Chiesa, campo, and calle, they all illicit astonished gasps of wonder. The centuries of Venice are represented in the patina of her stones; I hardly ever pass without touching them. They provide an intimate connection to the noble history of La Serenissima. – JoAnn Locktov
In Confessions of an Art Addict, Peggy Guggenheim wrote, “Princess Pignatelli once said to me, ‘If you would only throw all those awful pictures into the Grand Canal, you would have the most beautiful home in Venice’…no Venetian approved of my modern décor.” Defying convention, she hung a Calder mobile in place of a Venetian glass chandelier in her Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, and led a Bohemian life I thoughtfully examined during my first trip to Venice. She also had a narcissistic way of treating writers moving into and out of her world. – Saxon Henry
I first experienced Venice as a new bride and it was the sensations that spoke to me: watching it appear through a fuchsia mist; midnight street musicians on the Piazza San Marco and scampi at Harry’s Bar; exquisite shops down narrow passages; a woman in a mink-trimmed cape and leopard hat; a rainy afternoon of lovemaking at the Danieli and gondola ride Christmas morning – the canal to ourselves. “After you go to Venice,” I journaled, “you need a whole new set of fantasies.” Years later, I wrote about another romance that began in 18th century Venice. – Patty Otis Abel (Also known as “The Sultanette.)
RESOURCES: The Male Harem
Pigeons partaking in conversation and settling for crumbs fascinated, as we strolled through the square. Visiting St Mark’s had a profound effect on me. I was struck by the religious breath and light of the cathedral, a sense of deep piety and peace that whispered as the water rocked this island. Afterwards, sitting in St Mark’s square marveling at the architecture and pontificating on what we had seen, picturing my parents sitting there years before me. Possibly the same table. drinking espresso from tiny cups. The spill of culture from centuries, lurking in the shadows, and glowing in the sun, gave me a glimpse of a life once lived, in a world in a square. – Jen Duchene
RESOURCES: La Chic Soul Speak with Jen