The Charming Canals of Venice, Italy

 

Italian architecture has a distinct voice that’s impossible to miss. There’s so much to admire about each city I visited, but through the days I was roaming around this wonderful country, no city left such an impression on me like Venice did. Entering Venice, the sense of adventure is unavoidable. Bewildered at such a peculiar city. A city where traveling by water is more convenient than maneuvering through what probably is the most isolated maze of pedestrian streets of any operational city in the world, and a place where boats are the main mode of transport. Where instead of a public train or bus, one of the most accessible public transport around is the public water ferries. Shuttling people through floating stations where my balance is tested due to the sway of waves from boats zooming by. Yes, there’s definitely a sense of discovery coming back to Venice (maybe also because I was much younger when I was here last), but nevertheless – Venice is undoubtedly one of the world’s most unique cities.

There are many aspects of Venice which make it unique. Imagine the city back when it was first built and inhabited. If it commands fascination today, the city must’ve been a real wonder back in the day when it was new. Think about how many floating cities there are. Arguably only nine in total, but none quite like Venice. The marriage of Italian architecture, with its eye-catching facades and Venice’s creative city blueprint, is what charms millions each time. What I hadn’t noticed on my previous visit to Venice was how artistic the city’s community is.

Wandering through the various shops which line the narrow turns and bustling corners sits shops with crafts screaming with creativity. From the jewelry gems, I came across to the striking masquerade masks displayed. Creativity is part of the city’s identity. Why is such an interesting city host to such creative inhabitants? That is a question I’d like to explore further the next time I come back (and I will definitely be back). Even amongst the murky canal waters which double as the city’s sewage system, the unbearable hordes of summer tourists (ironically, myself included) pushing through the crowded streets on a hot summer’s day, Venice was still a seductive city. Captivating my every attention.

One thing I’d like to note, before arriving at Venice I didn’t realize the crisis Venice is facing as a dying city. I only knew about the city’s sinking problem, but what I was ignorant to was the problem it faces against tourism. Sitting conveniently along the Mediterranean and along a route most cruise ships take, the city’s locals are drowned out by the millions of tourist who arrive in the quaint city each year. I can tell you myself, visiting Venice in July (what’s considered high season) was beautiful but more unpleasant rather than enjoyable due to the number of people (or shall I say tourists) around. At every corner, at every bridge, there was no way to escape the crowd. I remember thinking to myself, oh how terrible it would be if I lived in a city where my day-to-day becomes more difficult because of tourists.

Where I live, Singapore, is a cruise ship stop too. I find myself complaining about the tourists crowding my city, but to experience the density of Venice is a whole other thing. For now, I wish to share this with you, so we can be aware of the problems our world faces. I wish there was something more I can do because Venice is a magical city worth fighting for.