In her recent TV series Secret Italy, there was a phrase used by presenter and hotelier Alex Polizzi that really resonated with me.  She described Venice as “a mirage”.

Arrive by train across the 3.5 km bridge from the mainland and you might never understand her description; you will have great views of the lagoon but not the city within it until you emerge from Santa Lucia onto the Grand Canal, at which stage it’s too late.  You’re in the city and your surroundings are clearly real.

You really have to approach by boat at some point to see the city rising above the lagoon waters.

In the winter it emerges from the mist as you approach, in the summer it sits between layers of pure light as sky and sea demand that you peer through squinting eyes.

Alex, I completely agree.



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