“SoulStroller (n.) A person who is present to life in all its intricate details, who listens to the voice of his or her heart and pays attention with all the senses…” Kayce Stevens Hughlett, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers and wings of the world.
I believe, that if you desire to explore new places and cultures, then once you set your heart on it, your journey will lead you there. So, if you are reading this post, a nudge has already taken place within, for you may be a fellow SoulStroller. 🙂
Venice is a labyrinth of canals, cobbled paths, narrow streets, hundreds of bridges, museums, cafés, restaurants and cultural experiences. Phil Cousineau, in his book, The Art of Pilgrimage, recommends, “Practice meandering toward the center of every place.” Venice is the perfect place for meandering.
I experienced the wonder of wandering Venice for my 3rd time, May, 2018, with fellow soulstroller, Kayce Stevens Hughlett. Our Airbnb second floor windows, in the Dorsoduro neighborhood, opened onto the canal. Waking the first morning I giggled, as bird song and Italian conversation wafted from below.
Buongiorno, Venezia! Viewed from above, it resembles a giant fish. Rick Steves advises, “Park your 21st century perspective at the mouth and let Venice swallow you whole.” Put on your comfy shoes, travel light, and take your soul for a stroll.
Mornings are best approached with coffee, some breakfast and a journal. Osteria Bakán found us and became our morning routine. A macchiato or cappuccino, accompanied by a fresh baked orange marmalade croissant helped fuel our intention for the day. Omar, Dino and Giorgio are the proprietors of this delicious café/restaurant. Off the beaten path from the heavily touristed areas, this is the perfect spot for coffee/breakfast, lunch or dinner “…dishes with a touch of fantasy.” Sometimes, we were enjoying our quiet morning ritual of coffee, journaling, creating, painting, pulling a card from the SoulStrolling inspiration deck, and people watching, that it took a bit of motivation to move us along.
La Patatina in Campo San Giacomo deli’Orio is a delightful stop for lunch. Nothing quenches the mid-day heat like a Campari Spritz, followed by a leisurely meal of shared grilled vegetables and spaghetti with clams for me. Motto benne 🙂
A visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum is a sensory immersion in nature, landscape, architecture and creative art, just off the grand canal. On line ticket booking makes the access to the museum an added pleasure. Vines, flowers, an open courtyard, and statues greet you upon entering. Paintings inside the museum enliven the space and whispered for me to take a closer look.
Stepping outside the doors that open onto the canal is breathtaking. Pausing to sit on the marble bench is both cooling (literally) and refreshing. Give yourself time to pause, wander, meander and notice what ignites curiosity within.
A tasteful addition to the art and space is the small restaurant, Ai Gondolieri, located within the museum’s courtyard space. Sitting at one of their tables for coffee, wine, and/or lunch is wonderful. Their larger more spacious restaurant, Ai Gondoliere is close by as well, if the courtyard space is too full.
If you’re craving pizza and want to avoid some of the high crowded areas by Saint Marks Square and Rialto Bridge, stroll your hungry belly to Pizzeria Oke/Zattere in the Dorsoduro neighborhood for a splendid menu, delicious pizza and water view.
When your feet need a respite and the late afternoon heat has you parched, park yourself at the outdoor terrace at Taverna La Fenice. Quench your thirst, people watch, and when ready, stroll over and view the famous Teatro La Fenice. To enhance your experience of viewing La Fenice opera house, read The City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt.
Journal entry, Saturday, May 12, 2018: Venezia, cooing pigeons and birds that sing in Italian. Seagulls, blue skies, fragrant flowers, church bells, ships horn, brick buildings, strawberries on my plate. Poodles, children with their grandfather picnicking in the square, men in suits with bow ties on a water taxi, server with a sense of humor, sunlight reflecting off buildings, the many varieties of spoken language, “curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary.” Phil Cousineau, Art of Pilgrimage.
May you pay attention with your senses, and listen to your soul’s curiosity and nudges of SoulStrolling in Venice.