“Venice appeared to me as in a recurring dream, a place once visited and now fixed in memory like images on a photographer’s plates so that my return was akin to turning the leaves of a portfolio: a scene of the gondolas moored by the railway station; the Grand Canal in twilight; the Rialto bridge; the Piazza San Marco; the shimmering, rippling wonderland…” ― Gary Inbinder, The Flower to the Painter
The photos on the left were taken by my parents in the mid-1960s; the ones on the right were taken during our trip to Venice in 2011.
I fell in love with Venice the moment I emerged from the Santa Lucia Train Station, descended into the richly polished belly of a water taxi, and began gliding along the Grand Canal. That romance continues to this day. To say that Venice is unlike any other city is an understatement of the obvious. Aside from its unique watery geography, Venice is notable as a relic of its own past. It serves as a tangible reminder of an empire that, for all intents and purposes, dominated the world for four centuries. Even as Venetians today battle to stave off the insidious, creeping effects of rot and decay, the majesty and splendor of the city’s architecture and artwork, and the richness and relevance of its history set Venice apart and make it one of the most fascinating places on earth–a true wonderland. I am amazed at how little Venice has changed over the years–as evidenced by the photos above. Other than the inevitable variations in clothing style and photographic quality, there is so little difference in the two sets of pictures that they could have been taken mere days or weeks apart–instead of forty years!