Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Venice at Night: The Return

The Gamard Family a Table (excuse the lack of accent)
This past June, I revisited Venice after a six year absence, practically a different person with a different sort of life, so is it any wonder my impressions have changed about this unique place? (If you wish to read what I had written in 2004 about my first trip, please click here.)

But, one thing that has not changed, in fact it has only been more heightened with my last visit, is my love of Venice at night. What a difference from the daytime, more public Venice! Her private face is much more beautiful, enigmatic, and mysterious. My first picture shows my family (minus my husband who is taking the photo and most of my father-in-law) sitting down to an amazing dinner in Murano, one of the Venetian islands. We enjoyed a feast practically straight out of the sea (what else would you even think of eating in Venice!) and shared a bottle of the well-known Venetian Prosecco. It was an incredible meal-one of those meals that will stay in my mind forever.

Evening is falling, and the heat is beginning to dissipate as we share conversation and laughs looking out over the tiny town. As always in our family, as well as in Italy and France, the children share in the conviviality, and it is an injustice to exclude them from sharing meals and social life. As some of you may already know, my husband is French and most of his family still live in France. Stephan and I make it a definite point to embrace French culture, especially the sanctity of the meal and of food itself that is seen throughout France. We would never exclude our son Tristan, or any children, and we always understand that people of every age should feel free to socialize together. We are never too young or too old for great conversation, or great food!
After our meal, we stroll through the town, three generations high on life, and two high on prosecco, while each of us nurses our aches and pains of various levels from a day full of sightseeing through the Venetian islands. In this photo, as we are waiting for the boat to take us back to our bed for the night, no one thinks about the time spent waiting. Stephan is a true raconteur, so they are all immersed in the story he is telling. I decide to sneak away to start taking some photos because, as night falls, I start to feel the magic appearing like a nocturnal animal cautiously exiting its daytime hiding place.

After the vaporetto arrives, and we rush to the rear of the boat to get a view of the island and still be out in the night air, I notice the effect the boat's churnings have on the water in the lagoon. I spend a good 10-15 minutes snapping photos with my very basic point and shoot (without a tripod) hoping to capture this effect and the feeling of being there. In my next post, I will include a few of these photos.

After night had fallen and it was impossible to get any more photos, we started to see the moon emerge. Not just an ordinary moon, though. The moon was very full and very red! We were amazed that we could be at such a right place and time as to observe this effect. Stephan kept saying, "La Luna Rossa, I've heard that someplace before. I'm not sure where, but it is familiar somehow..." Well, I've done a little research and the only thing I have come up with is that it has something to do with the heat in the atmosphere that creates this red moon. Regardless, those were some beautiful moments. I'm so glad we had a chance to share them on this night in June. It amazes me when I realize how incredible it is to arrive at certain places, especially those far-off places, and we are there, living and breathing, as if we were home. To me, this night felt like home.


Stephan said...

Luna rossa is the Italian sailing club in the America's Cup challenge, reaching the finals in 2007. That is why it was so familiar to me!

TheWingchairTraveller said...

Probably should have asked you about it! :) Sorry folks, but it makes for a better story as is!

TheWingchairTraveller said...

Actually, now that I think about it Stephan, your explanation is a perfect addition to the story! (Stephan is an avid, though sometimes obsessive, sailor)