We couldn’t wait to show the kids this amazing city, which I had visited when I lived in Italy years ago. Someone once said: “The only absolute in life is change.” Venice had become commercialized. Many of the natives had become restless during the floods and ‘floated on out of the city,’ while those who stayed endured the pop up souvenir shops and carts.
The charming structure of the city still stands, but it was difficult to find much less talk with anyone who actually lived there.
I’ve always heard: “The best form of flattery is imitation.” We had been to many of the Venice knock offs:
Suzhou, China – The Venice of the East
Bangkok, Thailand – The Venice of the East. (The other East, I guess)
St. Petersburg, Russia – The Venice of the North. Ironically, Aselund, (Norway) Stockholm (Sweden), Bruges (Flemish Belgium) and Amsterdam (Holland) each claim to also be “Venice of the North”!
Of America’s eleven Venices, we had seen:
The Venice of the Southwest – San Antonio, TX
The Venice of USA – Venice, CA
Plastic Venice – Las Vegas, NV (In fact we had a store near the site!)
Everglade Venice – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
You may choose the safe copies: But Epcot will still never be able to show you the authenticity of the Moroccan, Norwegian, Chinese or Japanese people, the smells and the food, now matter how good they get. Most who work there are Americans, and a burger and fries are always available! You can also skip the Israel tour and drive over to Orlando FL, for the Holy Land Experience. (Not really that ‘holy’, but again safe!) But unless you jump across the pond into the unknown, you never know what surprises, knowledge and understanding await you.
Venices are readily available for a visit from you and your family. But you might want to book your family trip to the original Venice, Italy– first before the experience becomes totally virtual. Of course when push came to shove, some of us still chose America’s Soft Drink over Chinotto or San Pellegrino. Coca Cola runs in our veins!