Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vivo Per Lei!

Last night I had another one of those moments where I just couldn’t believe that what was happening was really my life.

As you may have seen, seeing Andrea Bocelli preform has been a part of my bucket list for a long time. When my sisters and I were little and our parents would play his CD, we would try to trick people into thinking it was just our opera singing cousin and his friend Sofia practicing their newest songs (such tricky little kids), and we would belt along using fake-Italian made-up words to our favorites.

When a friend posted that he would be opening the EXPO in Milan, I knew I couldn’t miss it. A huge stage was set up in front of the Duomo, making it a very impressive scene (though one that made it difficult to see anything). A number of famous opera sings, pianists, and the orchestra from La Scala also performed, but Andrea Bocelli was who stole the show by far. I hardly have words (I never seem to be able to express things the way I’d like) for what happened, but it was magnificent. Standing in the Plaza del Duomo surrounded by hundreds people from all over the world who were here for the EXPO, and recognizing that I wasn’t a tourist, but a resident; looking up at the gorgeous architecture of what might be one of the most beautiful plazas in the world; listening to a singer I’ve loved since I was a little kid singing Nessun Dorma… I just don’t have words, but I can say that it brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. It was a moment I hope never to forget, and one that absolutely deserves a check on the ol’ bucket list.

The video isn’t the best quality, you can’t see too much, and doesn’t fully capture the experience, but I have watched it at least 10 times so far today and every time I feel grateful and close to tears. I’m a very lucky girl.

Back to Venezia

Maybe you’ve noticed, but I’ve gotten myself a little bit behind in posts; it’s the beginning of May, and I’m just finally writing about my parents’ visit from February! I was very excited to spend February break in two of my favorite places that I’d also visited with Holly. As much as I’d like to be spontaneous, I’ve realized that I feel a lot of pressure when traveling with others; I want everything to be perfect and to know what I’m doing, so visiting places I’d been and could show off was a good choice.


Venice, as I mentioned in another post, is magical and otherworldly. 

During the summer it was wonderful to walk through the sun-drenched streets and plazas, but winter has an ethereal feel. The rain brought out a fog that seemed to linger along the floor, and the gloom brings out a little more of the magic. Carnival had just ended, and their was a quietness about the city that was lovely and peaceful. 

In typical Streisel fashion, we did a lot of wandering (my fav), but also toured San Marco's and Doge Palace. I don't know what it is, but recently I'm even more of a crybaby than ever before (how is that possible?). I've been getting very teary in the presence of beauty or something awe-some (I know that word doesn't need a hyphen, but I want it clear that I mean something I'm in awe of, not just something cool). We were overlooking the Basilica from the upstairs museum, and the beauty humans are capable of creating just takes my breath away sometimes. 


Peeking through The Bridge of Sighs...
The cruelty can also be just as striking, however. In the Doge's palace, we were very excited to see the apartments- we love seeing how people once lived, and could only imagine the opulence we'd find inside a palace! After making it through without seeing any apartments, we could only assume that they were either closed, or that it referred only to what the space was once used for. What we did find was a horrifying display of weapons and the dungeon. I tried to look at the huge array of instruments used to kill only for their historical value as artifacts, but the variety of ways people have found to hurt each other over the year was too real and too disturbing when seeing it all displayed like that. Yuck.

One of our favorite finds was the most unique little art shop. 

It was tiny- about the size of a walk in closet- but full of beautiful collages of different scenes from around Venice done with printed paper, beads, pressed flowers, and ribbon. We took advantage of the miniature little shop as respite from the rain, but left with a number of new works of art for our homes. I love the different look, and mine looks perfect in my apartment!

On a random note, I've been reading mostly children's books this year... 

Don't judge, I have to keep up with children's lit to be able to teach it and make good suggestions for my little bambini! Anyways, I read Cornelia Funke's Thief Lord shortly before the trip, and it was the perfect before-Venice novel! The descriptions of various city landmarks and twisting alleyways from the perspective of a child is perfect for either getting excited before a trip, or for reminiscing after leaving the lovely city.