The near 7am sunrise was comforting alright, but walking along the half empty streets and alleyways of Venice was as inspirational as it was heartbreaking at the same time. The song from the soundtrack to the film “About Time” called “il mondo” by Jimmy Fontana, the randomest song in the world and my iPhone playlist, but somehow still befitting the occasion, was playing in my headphones loud and clear.
I was slowly walking with my travel bag and a cardigan in my arm, not rushing anywhere for a change, towards Santa Lucia. It was twenty minutes before sunrise, and my hand had my phone ready for photos, but I wasn’t using it just yet. The streets were absolutely empty a second ago, but now they were filling with working people from Venice, rushing to their offices, their restaurants and pharmacies, souvenir shops and banks, ready to make the city bustle with sounds, sights and colours once again for the locals, as much as for tourists. At this early hour, the people of Venice looked at me taking photos, as if at something foreign, not understanding why I would do such odd thing, when all you needed to do this morning, was have a cappuccino and start your normal working day. The Italian song was playing in my ears on repeat, and I was walking to the melody of it, turning my head towards the roofs and the passing seagulls. I finally reached Ponte degli Scalzi and finally the sunrise that all this time was slightly behind, was now right in front of me, I took a few steps up the bridge and stopped, phone with the music on in my hand. I pressed the “pause” button and looked at the many colours that I usually don’t see that early in the morning. The clouds and winds of yesterday’s near-hurricane ignited a carnival of paints across the sky.
I was standing on the bridge, looking at this unreal beauty, rare people around me, with phones, cameras and tripods, trying to capture the fleetness of the changing sky. Behind, Santa Lucia was calling me inside, I felt her judging stare on the back of my head, it’s like she was tapping the watch on her wrist, I but could not let go of the rising sun. My finger pressed the “play” button again and the Italian words flowed in my ears once again. I rubbed off a quick tear running down my face, picked up my bag and walked away from the bridge.
For a second I stood still before the train station, collecting my thoughts, then I stepped in. I didn’t look back. I knew I would come back again one day. And maybe next time I will be smarter, I will still believe in happy chance encounters and stay in love forever and not just until the sun rises.
Thank you for reading.