Venice, despite being quite completely consumed by tourism, is one of the most magical places in Italy. I’ve always loved the pairing of city and sea, and Venice is just that, with none of the beach in between. Some narrow streets lead you directly onto the water, the shadow of the buildings cut by a sudden bright openness. Gondolas drift lazily, but the gondolier is anything but lazy, perched on the stern, skillfully cutting and dragging the water with his oar. What I savored most was not my own visit to Venice, but instead how it lured my imagination towards Venice-past, a time when the city was untouched by hoards of foreigners and Venetians simply went about their lives, sailing to and fro with family, friends, and lovers.
If fineness of sand is any indication of the age of a beach, then she was a young one, speckled blush and beige, waiting for the waves to smooth out her edges. She was a beach that never saw the sunset in all of its glory, only able to catch its muted afterglow. We sat, sand seeping into the pockets of our denim shorts. The tide came steadily over bare feet, unsurprisingly cool at first touch, then warmer at each arrival.