Venice, Italy is a place of magic for me.

You can buy a mask on any street and roam around, hidden behind the gold and cracked paint.  You can reinvent yourself.

You can pretend you are Italo Calvino and writing Invisible Cities, envisioning Venice underwater, Venice alongside another Venice, Venice as a starting place for more journeys.

You can read Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion and dream that you are a fortune teller, a painter, a stealer of hearts.

You can read Poems and Selected Letters by Veronica Franco and imagine you are a courtesan.

My point is.  If you have never gone to Venice before—what are you waiting for?  Sea levels are rising all the time.  This beautiful city of waterways will be the first to drown.  Just go.  And bring only your journal, your sketch book, the three books I have mentioned above, a camera, and a change of clothing.

Bring everything in a tiny bag, because what you find there will be more than objects, and you won’t want to be weighted down.  Practice minimalism in order to slip through the crowds, get lost down an alley filled with cats, find a tiny corner inside one of the churches, or leap onto a boat and float off to one of the islands.

Go and find the parts of Venice that speak to you, your own Venetian wandering muse, because I guarantee she is already there, waiting for you behind a mask or at the bow of a gondola, slowing making her way down a narrow canal.

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