In Venice, I always feel like a fly in a spiderweb. It’s an ancient web, where the borders between solid ground and water dissolve and I’m floating under a heavy sky and it’s hard to leave. What is it about Venice that seeps into your pores? Why does it paint indelible marks on your soul? Colors for sure. The stuff of hallucinations and candy. The Venetians are probably tired of watching us visitors ogling and snapping pictures of every freakin thing. Like a glamorous supermodel, Venice makes everything look good. Even garbage cans look good in Venice. If I hold my selfie stick close enough to the Grand Canal, maybe I would look better.
I notice colors we don’t see at home. Let’s start with pizza. Sure we’ve seen all kinds of pizza’s but OMIGOD, BLACK Pizza.? I had to order one. The crust is is actually dark purple, from squid ink. It doesn’t taste squiddy or inky. It just tastes like pizza flavor on Adderal. Mine had tuna, sardines, olives and red onions.
Each of tastes were sharp, and distinctive. Totally addictive. I found it in Murano, an island off the coast of Venice that’s jam packed with glass factories and shops selling everything from jewelry to light fixtures to sculptures in every color of the spectrum and beyond. The colors are intense. They pop like firecrackers. You do not need drugs of any kind to hallucinate here. The entire city is trippy. And floaty. The air smells like sea water, olive oil and garlic. Sunsets are dramatic in Venice. The sky is 50 shades of purple.
It would suck to be blind here. I wander through dark alleys that are labeled as streets. You’d think such a busy, crowded place would be loud, but it’s quiet. Sounds are muffled by the celery colored canals that weave through Labyrinths of mossy stone walls. It’s like someone turned the volume down on the whole city. Church bells clang, random snippets of techno music drift from boats passing by at twilight. A dog barks. And from an open window I hear someone yelling on their cell phone in Italian. There will never be a traffic jam here. You don’t see a car anywhere in Venice. Every vehicle is a boat. The ambulance boat. The taxi boat. The garbage boat. When the Pope visits , it’s Pope on a Boat.The lagoon looks like boat soup when traffic is heavy. But they float and twist, at every angle. They don’t look trapped like cars on a freeway. Sea creatures have no problem sharing the space. Jelly fish the size of bowling balls drift along the surface. They look like giant, gelatinous mushrooms.
Can colors be intoxicating? I think I felt a buzz every time I gazed into a gelato shop. But when I took a Vaporatti boat to the little island of Burano, where buildings are painted in eye popping shades of blue, magenta, yellow, and green…I was full on wasted. Or maybe it was the wine. At this point, I knew that Venice is not a place for a hit and run visit that you can experience in a few days. You have to stay there for a long while. You have to dig into the deep corners of the city till your GPS signal dies. And that’s when you’ll find a black pizza.
Where to find black pizza:
Osteria al Duomo Fondamenta Antonio Maschio 20 Murano, Venezia