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Venice - A State of Serenity

ITALY | Sunday, 29 September 2013 | Views [311]

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. Before coming here, a friend shared with me that she was not so impressed with Venice. "A city built on water. So what? There is not much there for the spiritual seeker", she said disinterestedly and vaguely. "So what?", I thought. So much! And I don't mean the glamourous boutiques, the fancy restaurants and the luxury hotels. What I mean by much is the feeling that reigns in your heart when you sip on your 2-euro-street bougth-coffee to shield you against the mid-winter chill and you gaze out of the Rialto bridge and the shining laughter and graceful faces of a gone-by era drift buzzingly past your sun-kissed cheeks. If you let her enter in you, her spirit will blossom and reign. And you will know what is Venice. You can find spirituality in every experience, mostly because you carry it within you whereever the path takes you. 

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. 

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. I have always been enamored with the idea of them. 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. 

Ah! And then there is Il Carnevale. The Carnival. The most alluring spectacle of Venice.
A caleidoscope of colors that dates back to an ancient celebration of a victory of the Venetian republic in the 10th century over 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. 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!

Tags: carnevale, carnival, carnival of venice, italy, travel to italy, venice

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