culture / literature / travel / Uncategorized / Venice / world

I Agree with Coelho

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


5 thoughts on “I Agree with Coelho

  1. Dear Eda, I’ve never been to “Istanbul with its unique Bosphorus”as in your words, but my husband was there many years ago and he has never stopped repeating he has to take me there, and every now and then we look at the slides of some overwhelming beauty of Boshorus at night and of internal parts of your Country. We will go there, one day.
    I instead know London very well, I love London so much and I Know its colours, noises, smells. If i close my eyes I can smell the air and hear the sounds around the Thames, or the smell of parks, traffic, down in the tube. I believe it is a matter of bonds and memories, of different levels of perceptions. I knew nothing about eastern Europe but in the last years I have travelled to some Countries for work and Georgia got in my heart because I had the opportunity of spending lots of time in Tiblisi with the Head of the faculty of Architecture and with many students. They showed me their city and their Country from behind the stage. I have kept in touch with them ever since. You wrote: “It’s like a beautiful ancient theatre that puts the very same play on stage over and over again for eternity”, you are quite right, but behind the stage there is the real life, the many issues of living in Venice, the many stories, the many people who went by its calles and over its bridges. I can hear the rusling of long gowns when I walk over Rialto or when I stand in Piazza San Marco. I think it is simply quite difficult to see behind its stage, as Venice is used to living on the 2 levels, the public level and the everyday life one.
    Dear Eda, if you like, we can meet in Venice and I will take you for a walk through my Venice, the Venice of my memories as a student, of my hard times when I came to live here from London, of my difficulties in getting on the waterbuses, since I kept queing and everybody would push past me.
    Please, do let me know if we can have a walk together.
    Take care of yourself.
    See you soon,
    (Doriana Pavan, your Communication Prof.)

    • Dear Doriana,
      I am very glad that you have read a post of mine. Thank you so much for your comment and suggestion, I would love to take a tour with you someday of course. Me too, I am fascinated by imagining who might have walked through the streets, what kind of lives have been lived. I’ve always had an undying passion and interest for masked balls, the carnival etc. I truly like old places and I don’t deny the beauty of Venice; but what I essentially mean here, the exact word is really “overrated”. If Venice has its canals, for example, as a rare feature, Amsterdam has them too, as I said. But the difference is that I’ve never heard someone say about it, “It’s a place with no similar”.
      I agree with you about the public and everyday levels; but I think it’s like that for every place, every city, not only Venice. I know Paris well, for instance. I have friends living or studying there. I have grown up with stories about Paris because I’ve spent whole my education life before university in a sort of francophone school. If Venice was in top three of my list, Paris was the very first; so you can imagine it had the greatest risk of disappointment for me. And to be honest, in any of my times spent in Paris, I’ve never had that feeling of “Oh, is that it?” On the contrary, I even thought that it was underestimated. In the end, it’s a matter of perception of course; this is just mine.
      Thank you so much,

  2. Dear Eda,
    I believe we see everything through our heart and our emotions. I don’t think Venice is the best city in the world but I feel happy when in Venice.
    When we feel happy in our hearts, everything shines of some sort of inner light. When we feel hurt, everything turns grey, all the lights go off and the stage is dark.
    When I walk through London, I sometimes cry silly tears, since there I was deeply hurt in my youth and it takes just a street or a building to bring back the pain. But the city is there, unchangeable, beautiful, full of life. It is just me and my perception and memories and so I bring back “happy thoughts” to my mind, like Peter Pan, and the light goes on again.
    See you soon.

  3. Dear Eda,

    I will be happy to take a walk with you either tomorrow, Monday April 2, from 5.oopm, Wednesday morning April 4th, if you have no scheduled lessons, or Thursday afternoon, April 5, from 5.00 pm. We can meet in Campo Santa Maria Formosa.

    Please advise.

    Have a happy Sunday,

  4. Dear Anna, Claudia, Eda,Jaspal,Laura,Lucia,Sarah,Stefania,

    do not forget today’s interesting event by Arte Laguna, related to the contents we have analyzed. Have a good day,


    10.30am Arte Laguna Sunday Talk
    Info >>>

    5pm Finissage & Cocktail

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