I have had many doubts about writing a post about Venice. As a destination, she has the longest celebrity record. What could be said that has not been said? Words, in my opinion, fail. After expressing it all verbally, there remains some frustration, almost impotence, as if we have missed something important and yet we do not know what that may be.
Yes, there is the tiresome streaming of tourists, the lines in front of San Marco and the profusion of mediocre trattorias. All of it takes much room and unsettles our idea of Venice, and the idea the city has of herself. In a strict sense, she is a tired and saddened courtesan mournfully begging for attention. The contrast between the grandeur she even now struggles to convey, and the mass coarseness that haunts her, makes her lose many battles.
But in spite of all the negative signs, I am still very fond of her. Would I live there? Never. Would I go back? At every opportunity. So why go back, where is the attraction? Perhaps because it is a city built on marshes with majestic architecture and a glorious past? That answer does not satisfy me. She has many competitors in the wide world when it comes to unique settings.
And this is when the explanation should come in and it fails me. All I know is that the magnetism of this place has to do with something very deep inside ourselves. And that deep spot is not the same for everyone. Better not to name it for fear of confusing its meaning. Whatever that is, let it talk to us.