I was born in Venice and to be Venetian means to have the honor to be born in the unique and most beautiful city in the world. After 50 years I can see the difference between how “she” was and how “she” became. Yes, I use “she” because for me Venice is a woman to be respected and loved. Seeing the palace reflected on the “Canal Grande” seems to live in a city upside down and it is so magnificent that we feel in love with the city, we feel our heart beat with emotion. When I was young, Venice… she was a city silent, romantic, wrapped in a note of mystery to discover day by day through the shadowed calli, campi, campielli, corti always empty or crossed by her inhabitants; now… nothing changed we can see the same calli, campi, campielli, corti but, the inhabitants have been replaced by tourists. To live in Venice seems to be in paradise:  every few hours we can hear the bell from the different churches ringing announcing the start or the end of the celebration; every small corner of the city is a unique piece of art; every inside palace is a  masterpiece with his marbles, his wood in lays, his venetian style chandeliers, his gold mosaics, his statues of the best sculptors; every church is a small religious world decorated by the most important painters and sculptors. We always discover, also after years, crossing the same street, new small details on the wall, on the top of the houses, on the roofs in which we can admire many and different chimneys having each one a particular meaning. We never feel alone because we know one to each other, we only need to exit for a walk that we surely meet someone to say goodbye. We are athletic because every day we walk for kilometer using the city as a natural open-air gym without signing up at the gym. To be born in Venice means to understand and speak about distance in time and not in meters or kilometers. The usual question is. “How long from Rialto to San Marco?” A Venetian can only answer “ten minutes’ walk” in-fact if you ask: “How many kilometers?” a Venetian answers, “I don’t know, but you need ten minutes”; for Le Corbusier the urban structure is a synthesis between nature and artifice in which the different islands are recognized as fundamental constituent elements of the urban organism and again, always for him, “she” is the city of the future because, people and boats have two different routes one for walking and one for driving. Le Corbusier is only an example but today again, designs from all over the world come to study and understand how Venice was built, how she can survive inside the water, how this magnificent and unique city continues to express emotions to all people coming from different cultures.

Caterina Volpato


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