The Wise Words Of Holidaymakers

IN MY humble estimation you can always judge a city by the words of those who have visited it.


Manchester, for example, has stirred many a poet into prose.


“Manchester has everything except a beach,” for example.


They may only be the words of mouthy Mancunian pop star and Stone Roses singer Ian Brown but they resound with as much poetic reverberation as any Shakespearean travelogue.


If there’s one place you need to read about before you visit it is the Venetian Riviera in Italy. Venice and the surrounding towns in the region have more words dedicated to them by hypnotised visitors than almost anywhere else, save New York, in the world.


Here’s a few that resonated most with me before my trip to San Francesco at Caorle on the Venetian Riviera last summer.


“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” Truman Capote


“It will always be a good time in Venice. Which is the point of the place.” Allan Cole


“If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is – Venice is better.” Fran Lebowitz


The last one, in particular, got me thinking. What is it about this historic region that sets the creative juices of poets and artists, musicians and historians flowing?


And, having been and now seen the place for myself, I can tell you with some personal conviction.


Venice is it’s own place. It’s like nowhere else. It has its own rules, it’s own heartbeat, its own peculiar pace.


You don’t so much visit Venice as become part of it – absorbed inch by inch into the history, the bustling backstreets and the incredible rustic cuisine.


Physically, you leave after your two-week window of opportunity closes, but Venice never leaves you – the smells, the tastes, the freshness of the warm Italian air gently caressing your skin as you meander through its winding backstreets and discover gems of humanity dotted along every road, from dirt track to main street, always remain.


The real test of the Venetian endurance is that it is used so readily as a comparison for other cities which pretend to its throne of romance.


“Amsterdam did not answer our expectations; it is a kind of paltry, rubbishy Venice.” William Hazlitt


As I said at the start, you need to visit Venice to really absorb what all the fuss is about. Don’t restrict yourself to the city itself either, there’s much to see outside the boundaries of the canals. Caorle, where I laid my hat for a week last summer, is in many ways more beautiful than the famous city it lives in the shadow of.


However you do it, go there, and come back with your own inspirational words. After all, holidaymakers are tomorrow’s historians.

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