I’d be quite angry if I were Venice: I’d hate the clichés used to talk about me. How often would I have to hear: “Venice is so beautiful, but I could never live there!” I would just roll my eyes when geologists and scientists say that one day I am going to sink into my own lagoon due to global warming. With the long legs of my stilt buildings I would boot out of the city the tourist hordes clogging up my bridges, canals and vaporetti.
And James Bond would definitely be my Enemy No. 1. He – the secret agent who goes around saving everybody – is the one who blows me up in the final scene of “Casino Royale” – and all for a woman and a suitcase full of money. Yes, I’d be very angry indeed. Imagine people saying to you, “You’re beautiful, but I could never live with you!” But Venice is different, thankfully. The city bears no grudges against anyone. On the contrary: she’s unstinting in her generosity, giving all her visitors unbelievably beautiful holiday memories that only the lagoon city can.
It’s early in the morning and the room of my boutique hotel, the Palazzo Barbarigo, is flooded with light. When I look outside, I don’t just see one sun, but rather two. One up in the delightfully blue sky, and the other reflected in the canal directly below my window. If the sun is shining down with full force from above, you especially appreciate the colour themes in this wonderfully simple but elegant hotel. Bordeaux-red velvet chairs, grey walls and tinted windowpanes.
The hotel is in a Renaissance palace on the Canal Grande, between Campo San Polo and the Basilica dei Frari. This isn’t my first visit to Venice, so I’ve opted for a hotel in the San Polo district, because it’s centrally located but offers quiet surroundings. Here you’re slightly away from the madding tourist crowds, but still enjoy a fantastic selection of bars and restaurants.