Venice – A State of Serenity
The light of the rising sun embroiders the edges of the clouds in golden threads. Sweet lullabies of the night-clad waters fade away blissfully in the first rays of the sun. When the weary traveler first glimpses the domes of this city, when the the eastern winds embrace him with their promises, his heart blossoms in serenity. There she is, rising on the blue horizon in all her pride and glory.
This is Venice.
Not simply a city but a state of mind; a state of serenity. There truly is no other place in the world like her. Rising before your astonished eyes like a goddess out of the ephemeral sea foam, she captures you with unraveled, timeless beauty. Listen! Do you hear the whispers rippling on the water? She sweetly beckons you to her.
The lagoon of Venice was first inhabited dating back before the year of 421 when a gathering of refugees settled here, chased away from their home lands by the merciless attacks of the Huns and the Germanic tribes. Isolated and protected by the surrounding marshes and lagoons, the settlement of today’s Venice grew more autonomous. As the might of the Byzantine Empire waned, Venice grew proud and independent as a prominent trading power along the Adriatic sea. Between the 9th and the 12th century, Venice blossomed into prestige, became a city-state and strengthened her trading paths with Constaninople. Through her passed all the crossroads between East and West, the precious trails of silk, grains and spices that stemmed from brave and audacious sea adventures across unknown oceans. By the late 13th century, at the peak of its power and wealth, with 36, 000 sailors and over 3000 ships, Venice was a naval power to be reckoned with and the most prosperous city in Europe. During this time, the wealthy merchant families build some of her most ravishing palaces and encouraged the development of the arts and music that would make Venice of the most alluring and fairest of them all.
The Age of Love
What else can you feel when in Venice other than love!
You fall helplessly in love with her, her ups and downs, her light and darkness and all that surrounds her. You fall in love with yourself and all the serene nature around you. Here love is not an emotion; love is your very existence. You lay your head to rest on a soft red couch, sheltered by the fragrant air in your very own palazetto and before your eyes float images of times gone by. Times of poetically-charged courtesans that ruled the hearts of men and fates of a nation. The sun’s playful reflections off the smooth water surface tickle the cherubs that grace the divinely painted ceiling and sure that must be what melodies of heaven sound like.
Here once reigned the age of courtesans. Versed not only in the mysteries of the art of love, they were the only women who had the right to be educated.
The right to enter a library, to read and write poetry, to have knowledge of the world that laid outside the gates of proud and glorious Venice, even the right to love. Would they confess they found more extasy in love than prayer? That love is a prayer? Perhaps they would. Because they were brave enough to know that you can know your true self only through love.
Il Carnevale di Venezia
Il Carnevale. The Carnival. The most alluring spectacle of Venice.
A caleidoscope of colors that dates back to an ancient celebration of a victory the Venetian republic in the 10th century over the Patriarch of Aquileia, another one of the neighboring lagoon cities. Picking up strength during the Renaissance, the carnival remains even today one of the greatest and most popular feasts in all of Europe, being visited by about 3 million people each year. There truly is something magical to the exquisitely filigreed masks that you can adorn your self with during the carnival. Somehow they take you to another world, a world where you can be bold and adventurous.
A world where you can only speak through your eyes but indeed you can speak volumes!
You walk through the buzzing streets at the fall of dusk and soon you will see young counts and countesses breezing past you on their way to a grand ball. They touch their redden cheeks and sweet nothings flutter on their lips like butterflies. You lose track of time, of the age and customs and you feel both young and ancient. Like you have been here before. You have had fluttering butterflies on your lips, too. Someone slips his hand into yours and the warmth of it lights up your body and soul. Yes, you have been here before! Here, and there, and everywhere where there is love!
Because what is life other than a pilgrimage to love!
Click ok the picture above to see the whole album from the Venice Carnival 2013.
By Lina Petkova