Maybe Venetians and most other people (probably most people who have never been here or been here for only a week) won’t agree with me, but this is my perception; I truly believe what I think and nobody has to share or agree with it. Venice is probably one of the most promoted places in the world. Like many other people, I, myself had it on my top three ‘places to see’ list.
A few days ago, on Twitter I saw a tweet by Paulo Coelho, who is one of the writers I admire most. I am really moved by his vision, his ability to appreciate life and joy, and see beauty. The sentence is “Don’t get me wrong (I have good taste!), this is my 1st time in Venice, and I think the city is #overrated”
Now, I don’t know what are his reasons to say that; but at this point I can’t keep mine to myself anymore.
It has its own rare or unique characteristics, every city has. An island that is divided into dozens of pieces. It has canals -but so does Amsterdam (In fact, those of Amsterdam look cleaner and something more similar to water). It has a huge cultural and historical heritage, like many other cities. There are many other places in the world, maybe not as famous or promoted as Venice and known by little amounts of people; but definitely more beautiful than it. They just don’t promote themselves in a way as if they have the treasures of the Universe. To have a few unique features doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unique in beauty as well.
If you visit this city for only a few days, obviously you don’t have time to analyse it in that way or it may not be an overwhelming fact for you. If I take you to even one of the lousiest places in the world, where there’s nothing worth to see, just for one day, you may even like that; because it’s nothing more than a harmless adventure.
Whenever I hear someone saying that it’s one of the most most beautiful places he/she has ever seen or been, that he/she would love to live here, I can’t help telling myself, “I am sure he/she has never seen Istanbul, with its unique Bosphorus, or any other more beautiful cities.” (And it usually turns out so)
You may think I am saying this; because I am a Turk who’s always lived in my own country. True, it’s maybe partly because of that; but still, it’s not about Istanbul or any other part of Turkey, but also: Paris, London or Salonika; some of the places I’ve seen, which I can think of now. I think they are not only more beautiful; but also offer a more convenient, easy daily life (and full of options) too. Not only visiting as tourist, but living as well. It’s a matter of taste, however, when I put my tastes aside and think in an objective way, I think one can want to stay here forever only, if in Venice he has everyone he loves or he’s just came from somewhere no better than here. It’s like a beautiful ancient theatre, that puts the very same play on stage, over and over again for eternity.
Experiences don’t only consist only good things, and this is one of the dark sides of mine.
By Eda Güngör