by Melinda Gallo

Leaving Venice

We walked to the Zattere vaporetto (water bus) station to go to the train station this morning. We hauled our luggage onto the vaporetto and tried to position ourselves without blocking the pilot's door. The conductor kept yelling at us to go downstairs into the seated areas, but there were too many people below and on deck for us to risk not being close to the exit.

We jumped off the vaporetto at the train station and stayed outside in the sun. We had an hour to wait before our Eurostar back to Florence would depart. It was a sunny day, so it was pleasant to sit outside looking at the buildings and Canal Grande for a short while. It was just enough time to say goodbye to my favorite city.

A few hours after we got back, I took my sister to one of my favorite shops down Borgo degli Albizi. I was surprised at hearing so much Italian again. When I was in Venice, I heard mostly French and English while I walked around. The only people who spoke Italian worked in the shops and restaurants. I thought I'd see more families and locals outside the apartment we rented, but it was very quiet in the Dorsoduro area where we stayed.

Now that I'm back in Florence, Venice feels like it was just a dream. I wish I could understand Venice, but it seems like it is just a magical place that should remain a mystery. There is no other place where the mix of colorful buildings and water is so perfect.

I'll miss Venice, but I do know that I'll fall back in love with it the second I go back for a visit.

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