Venice: A Break From Reality


This is an entry in the We Said Go Travel Writing Contest written by Suzi Richer from England. Thanks for your entry Suzi!

“The next talk, about Peggy Guggenheim’s life, will be in 5 minutes. We’ll meet just by the steps, people can perch on the wall in the sun if they want to,” shouts a girl in heavily accented English. I can’t quite place where she’s from.

We’ve come outside, back into the garden and the low sunlight is making me blink rapidly as I rummage in my bag for sunglasses. I’m struck again by the fact that the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection seems to be the antithesis of what I would consider to be Venice. Columns of feathery-green Cypress trees glare down on a long, low, dove-white building. It’s more like a Tuscan villa than a Venetian palazzo.




Our last ‘touristy’ visit of the trip before we fly back to reality this evening, I’m enjoying this different side to Venice. It’s refreshing, making me think, challenging me.

To add to the overall confusion, there are sculptures all around. We spend a minute or two taking silly photos of our reflections in one of them. It’s made up of two vertical discs and somehow manages to cut you off at the waist – half your body is shown in one disc and the other in the disc below. Strange, how does it do that?

I gently glide off by myself. A smell of garlic rolls into the courtyard , trapped in by the walls. Is it from here or a near-by home? Looking around to find the source of the tummy-tingling smell I notice the neon lights on the shady wall by the restaurant:

Changing place, changing time, changing thoughts, changing future ©Maurizio Nannucci’s  




Venice has been a time for me to reflect, not always consciously, what do I want to be doing with my life? The words encapsulate the emotions that been flowing through me while we’ve been here.  I wonder how many other people have looked up at that dark wall with the dazzling lights and thought about their own lives in relation to Maurizio Nannucci’s words.  Taking a quick picture I’m sure that those words mean something more to me, but I can’t fathom them out at the moment, I’m still immersed in Venice…

There is an ethereal quality to this lagoon city. The shimmering water, sumptuous architecture and the sheer amount of history contained in one small city is overwhelming. In winter the streets are quieter, you can take your time to stop and ponder a small detail: a pigeon paddling in the aqua alta in St Mark’s Square, or the medieval ceiling frescos running round the Rialto fish market, so often ignored by the tourists pulsing through the area.

For me Venice is a place to lose myself in history and architectural opulence. Reality slides out of focus and I entirely give myself over to sharply-focused details – the experience of being here.

‘OK everyone. Gather around. We’re about to begin,” says the same girl. I shiver as I start to walk back into the sunshine, glad to get some warmth on my face.

About the AuthorSuzi Richer: I love travel, writing and food. When all three combine I’m at my happiest. Web link:


Writing Contest

This is an entry to the We Said Go Travel Writing Contest. The theme of this contest was "Inspiration: A Place You Love". Enjoy reading and don't forget to leave a comment!

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