I know that I’m fortunate to have visited. I’m even more fortunate to have visited twice. (Though the second time around, I went to please someone else who’d wanted to see Venice her whole life. How could I say no?)
Ironically, Venice left me disappointed for the same reasons that New Orleans leaves many visitors disappointed: I never felt like I was seeing the “real” city. It was all facades and alleyways and quaintness and Rick Steves tours. I’m sure that there’s much more to it, but unlike here in New Orleans, I don’t know how to get around the front gate.
And yet, despite those feelings, I’d gladly go back to see an exhibit currently running at the Palazzo Fortuny called “Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland“.
Vreeland was a magical creature. Her memoir, D.V., is amazing — full of apocryphal stories, mis-rememberings, and utter bullshit, but amazing nonetheless. The few people I’ve met who knew her say that it describes her to a T.
I’ve never had Vreeland’s knockout fashion sense. I’ve certainly never had her class. But our shared hatred of nostalgia would be enough to justify a few days of dodgy food among grumpy Venetians.