As I’ve mentioned, I don’t travel well. After an overnight flight from Washington via Paris, I finally arrived at my Venice hotel a little after 3 PM. I checked in, had a quick shower, lay down for a nap, and woke up 13 hours later.
I always write off the first day of a European vacation.
The next morning I was ready to go. My hotel was a 10-minute walk—crossing four little bridges—from Piazza San Marco.
St. Mark’s Square.
Napoleon allegedly once called Piazza San Marco “the most beautiful drawing room in Europe”, although verifying that quotation is impossible. It’s a huge, magnificent space, and seeing it for the first time made me regret that I’ve used the adjective “breathtaking” far too promiscuously in the past. For the next two weeks, the Piazza would mark my Kilometre Zero—everything else would radiate from here.