Venice and Veneto
Romanticism by definition
“The quality of Venice that accomplishes what religion so often cannot is that Venice has made peace with the waters. It is not merely pleasant that the sea flows through, grasping the city like tendrils of vine, and, depending upon the light, making alleys and avenues of emerald and sapphire, it is a brave acceptance of dissolution and an unflinching settlement with death. Though in Venice you may sit in courtyards of stone, and your heels may click up marble stairs, you cannot move without riding upon or crossing the waters that someday will carry you in dissolution to the sea.” Mark Helprin, The Pacific and Other Stories
I use to say that I really, I mean really envy all those people who haven’t read “A hundred years of solitude”, for instance, or who have yet to wonder around Mykonos’ chora during a mild summer night, for they have marvelous, incredible discoveries still waiting for them. Even more so concerning Venice: currently living its sixteenth century of history, it proudly stands as an extraordinary, unique architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world’s greatest artists. Nowhere else you will have the possibility to choose whether to hold the wedding reception under Tiepolo’s or Tintoretto’s frescoes, nowhere else you will be able to offer yourself and your guests such a vast variety of magical experiences, from the classic gondola tour, to a visit to the unique museum of perfumes, where you can create your own scent. Venice is exhausting, enchanting and intense; it is very Italian in its capacity, as Mark Helprin puts it, to constantly find a new balance between past and present, life and death. I’d even say that the ability to cope with difficult conditions is what makes Venice what it is; you might in fact think of it as an open air museum hopelessly stuck into the past: well, you could not be more wrong, for actually it’s a vibrant location, constantly busy with dozens of art exhibitions, conferences and performances, ready and capable to meet the highest expectations and the most complex events, despite its logistic complexity.
While deciding whether Venice is the place for you, of course you will have to take into careful consideration the budget element; being such a special place, this iconic city does requires deep pockets. Luckily enough, the same area offers a fabulous, just as romantic yet different alternative that is the enchanted Verona. The perfect setting, between the mountains and the river Adige, the rich historical heritage, from the Roman times, through the Middle ages to the Renaissance era, the lush countryside surrounding it which rivals with the uber famous Tuscany, the bespoke culinary tradition and spectacular wines, the vast choice of magnificent venues at a very reasonable price, everything about Verona will utterly seduce you. And, for the hopeless romantic, it doesn’t get any better than saying “I do” on Romeo and Juliet balcony, or does it?
Cover photo: Hernan Pinera, Photo 1: Igor M., Photo 2: Gnuckx, Photo 3: Alex Tsepko