What an amazing trip! I keep thinking that someday I’ll go to Venice and feel complete and decide that it’s time to move on to another place. Well, it didn’t happen this time…I’m just as fascinated with that city as ever and already am thinking about when I can go back next year.
I didn’t get my wish to see snow, but that's okay. No acqua alta or rain either except for a soft drizzle one evening. Instead there were lots of cold but sunny days, perfect for taking photos of churches and cats and street shrines. I did LOTS of walking, and searching for some of the more obscure churches took me to places I’d never seen before. I went inside 45 churches! I know that sounds like a lot but that’s only about 4-5 per day. And I even discovered some new ones that I didn't know about....I'm going to have to go back and update my earlier blog entries that list "all" the churches.
A highlight for me was going to mass in Basilica di San Marco on Saturday, Dec. 8, the feast of the immaculate conception. The Patriarch of Venice performed the Mass and he’s just got good vibes overall– he even gave a message in English. The best part was that the Pala d’Oro was turned around and facing the congregation. This only happens on high holy days; I was so happy that I got to see it. All the lights were on and the mosaics were glowing, and there were flowers and incense and a choir singing up in the gallery…it was just so incredibly gorgeous in that great old cathedral.
I met so many wonderful people and connected with some old friends, and had some great food (my favorite restaurant, La Zucca, was closed for repairs; I sure did miss that pumpkin flan but it forced me to try some new places; reviews to come).
I just wasn’t inspired to blog while I was there. In fact, I spent ten days with no phone, no TV, no newspapers, and only about five minutes a day on the Internet to email my family and tell them that I was okay. It was a nice break from technology and the “real world”, and I think I needed it.
I did keep a journal and as soon as I gather my thoughts and organize my photos, I’ll have lots of stories to share. So stay tuned!