'Tour De Italia'
There is no perfect time for holidaying, every moment is. The concept of perfection of time is a matter of one’s own choosing and I recommend spicing up every moment with the sprinkling desire to enjoy, to explore and to meet new people.
This summer, I found myself sitting in an Indian restaurant in Padova, a quaint industrial town about 45 miles from Venice. My Italian sojourn was coming to an end and the group I was holidaying with, had decided to let itself loose in the only Indian restaurant the town boasted of, the Gandhi. (There are quite a few restaurants in Italy, as also a few streets, I am told, named so after the Mahatma or the Ruler, is left to your imagination or inclination).
Wine glasses and the lemon soda had the same inebriated effect on the souls who surrendered themselves. Their bodies flickered like a convulsive fit of attainment. No egos and no tensions just plain blissful surrender to the sublime spirit of the holiday. Their inebriated shadows made irregularly irregular projections like the labarynth of Venice canals.
Sun was at its scorching max making this an unusually hot August morning in Venice but no sweat for a true traveller spirit. It took us about half an hour of boat ride from where the bus depot to reach Venice. Besides the usual cathedrals and gothic style buildings, the hallmark of Italian architecture, you will find Gucci, Armani, Boss and all the other who’s who of the fashion fiesta on display there, standing on the firm footings but the wavy ground. I am sure your shopoholic desires will keep haunting you for quite some time for not having stayed here long enough. But relax, just chill and take a joyride in the famous Venetian Gondola.
Talking about firm footings my memories took me back to a place where the ground is firm enough to hold the world’s wonder, leaning tower of Pisa.
Pisa is about 300 miles from Venice and ride will take you through one of the most amazing countryside and the best of roads. The images of mesmerising green meadows and large organised farms with meticulously rolled hey bundles covering the horizon as if a Michel Angelo painting, will remain inscribed in my mind.
The small town of Pisa with its wide and clean roads, beautiful residential buildings displaying colorful flowers from their balconies had a picture perfect charisma about it. The real charisma, however, lied in the tower, about to fall onto the ground for centuries but not yet, as if standing against all odds and against destiny with the willpower of a gladiator.
Gladiators fought and laid their lives in the largest amphitheatre of the country in the capital city of Rome, the Colosseum. Lived for nothing and died for something (…or nothing). The Colosseum is the architectural marvel where the games of power politics and strength were played during the bygone era.
Besides reminding you of magnificent history Rome will charm you with its grandeur and symmetry of vastness. The buildings have remarkable symmetry, the signature of Roman styling sure leave you captivated.
Sitting in the ‘Restauranto Indiano‘, I am feeling light, rid of all mundane burden my weary mind was carrying, lighter than the weight of seagull flying beside me and along with me in the fresh cool breeze of Capri Island on the way to the Blue Grotto. Lying on the small boat surrendering to mystical powers of the mother nature I embrace the magical waters in the darkness of the cave. Let there be light from within.
It will take at least two hundred years of rigorous hard work, mandatory political detoxification and an intense craving to achieve the impossible if India is to reach somewhere close to this European marvel.
Sure, this is a gross underestimation and you can kill me for being modest.