“Aah, Venice”, as old Indiana Jones used to say. Just like places as NYC and Paris, this island is forever destined to appear frequently on the big screen. With 118 islands, 150 canals and 400 bridges there are a lot of scenic locations.

However, the city is also connected to an infamous impending doom. It is predicted that by year 2028 the city will completely go underwater, which is only ten years from now.

Art installation in the Grand Canal, Venice Art installation in the Grand Canal, symbolizing the threat of flooding.

In a way, this mood is something very closely related to the faded walls of Venice. Once you look past the noisy tourists at Cafe Florian and the gleeful gondoliers, there is something elusive in the corner of your eye, just down that empty alley.

It reminds me of the “hüzün” of Istanbul and the “saudade” of Porto. A sense of melancholy stuck in the very walls, forever in silent anguish.

Canal in Venice Derelicts.

Mark Twain noticed the melancholic decline more than a century ago, on his visit in 1867:

“We have been in a half-waking sort of dream all the time. I do not know how else to describe the feeling. A part of our being has remained still in the nineteenth century, while another part of it has seemed in some unaccountable way walking among the phantoms of the tenth.”
— Mark Twain (1867)
Bridge at night, Venice Lonely bridge at night.

As the darkness falls and the tourist crowds disperse, there is something eerie about the silent derelict bridges.

I ponder the fate of Venice as I walk down a narrow alley, listening carefully.


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