April 23, 2016

When I was small, I dreamed of getting lost, alone, in every major city in the world. When I grew up, I realized that this was not the best plan, but it felt surprisingly doable in Venice.


Venice by Lydia Laurenson
Venice. View on Instagram


I took a couple of days on my own in Venice, and it was everything I imagined and more. Venice is so unrelentingly beautiful and aesthetically consistent. It’s hard to photograph the narrow, cobblestoned streets — lined in wrought-iron ornamentation and arches, surrounded by slender canals — but I did my best! (You can find my full set of 48 photos on Facebook here.)


Painting by Andy Fluon
A painting by Andy Fluon, displayed at Contini Art Factory. View on Instagram


Venice by Lydia Laurenson
An alley. View on Instagram


I felt grateful that I live in the age of Google Maps, which allowed me to lose myself in the city without fear (although I had a nervous moment one night when my internet went out… fortunately, by that point, I knew my way home). I was also grateful that I’ve read Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino. The book is narrated by Marco Polo during his exile from Italy. It’s a set of short descriptions of cities. Cities as symbols, cities and desire, cities on the theme of memory, and eventually he acknowledges that all cities — for him — are Venice. (Here’s an especially poetic quote.)

And, should I inspire you to visit Venice, here are my tips:

• There’s a room available on Airbnb that’s themed after Marilyn Monroe (filled with Marilyn pillows, screens, etc). If you can snag that room, it’s adorable, and they also serve amazing breakfast!

• I checked out of my Airbnb on my final day and planned to store my bags at the train station, until I learned that there’s an easy alternative: You can store them cheaply at a nearby shop and skip the line for checking baggage at the station.

• Finally, here is a list of lesser-known Venice museums, of which I chose the Museo Fortuny.

(48 photos on Facebook here!)