PERSONAL DIARY: Part 1
Never mind that I am Italian- prior to this placement at the East Midlands Pavillion #EM15 at the Biennale, I had never been to Venice and the only images I had in my mind about the city were those provided by literature, history, fiction and fantasy novels.
On the one hand, popular books such as Cornelia Funke’s Thief Lord shaped my imagination creating a sort of mythical expectation towards the city. On the other hand, my historical studies gave me another Venice to imagine, as the powerful and great maritime republic ruling in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages.
However, what is the real Venice? Is it the one described by novelists or the one emerging from historical evidence? When my feet touched Venetian soil for the very first time, after almost two hours of travel, I felt like a medieval pilgrim who does not know what his journey will be (OK, it would have taken a medieval pilgrim a lot longer to reach Venice but you get my point…).
I was surprised at the whiteness of the buildings’ stones emerging and the way the stone reflected in the blue of the lagoon. The first thing I thought was “oh, no one lied” and it is true, Venice is amazing, like the mythical city described in fantastical narratives and at the same time she has preserved the great majesty of an old and great maritime republic. I think that for this reason, the city’s environment and look are unique.
Really, there are no words to describe how small you can feel in Piazza San Marco, surrounded by the gold aura of the Church, the immensity of the campanile, the smell of salt coming from the sea and the sound of classic music played by the musicians in the square. I can definitely say that if I had an expectation, the reality is much better.
Laura di Stefano