Who knew that a gondola ride was my heart’s desire? The day trip to Venice was completely unplanned. Our Florence guide was adamant we must take the 2 hour train ride to experience the unique and beautiful and watery. His advice was good. I was transfixed the second I stepped out of the station and took in the Grand Canal. On the crowded water taxi my singular thought crystalized. My obsession became a perfect glide with a handsome young gondolier wearing the classic striped shirt and jaunty straw hat with the voice of Perry Como crooning Italian love songs while we held hands under a scratchy wool blanket. No busy tourist corner would do. No scruffy wool capped gondolier chomping cigar stub in shabby shirt stretched across his bulging belly for me. Mine would be a solo practitioner tucked in the corner of a lovely square with uneven stone steps down to his boat. We crossed scenic bridges with flowered draped window boxes scouring the corners for my perfect pilot. Was he really illuminated by a single beam of light in the center of a brick square? Waiting for me?
Perfection. A plastered grin from ear to ear was my entire face. An unknown dream come true gliding among glorious teal doors and wrought iron rails and shabby balconies with t-shirts drying. The lilting croon danced across the water. Who knew a gondola ride was my heart’s desire?