The fabric of Venice – it’s Palazzos, Canals, Churches, Piazzas, Alleyways and Markets – is undoubtedly enchanting. Dickens declared “Nothing in the world that you have ever heard of Venice is equal to the magnificent and stupendous reality… Venice is beyond the fancy of the wildest dreamer.” Truman Capote said that the city was “hopelessly beautiful” and “the most enchanted on earth.” Few cities have ever proved as inspiring as La Serenissima. The greatest artists ever to wield a brush have excelled beneath its remarkable light, great composers have been and gone – Vivaldi was born there; Stravinsky is buried there. A panoply of writers lived, stayed or died within that clutch of romantic buildings standing precariously in the sea. Shakespeare, Byron, Browning, Ruskin, James, all succumbed to its spell. Mary Shelley wrote that “There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights, to enter an enchanted garden.” For certain susceptible souls, Venice seems to cast a spell, making them return again and again until, somehow, they unwork the spell, or succumb to it. Venice is the meaning of love, beauty, and art; yet time itself hangs heavier there somehow, weighing down the ghosts that lurk in every shadow. For one brief moment each year dreamers from around the world envelope themselves in luscious fabrics and hide behind anonymous masks to act out a different persona; they hide their normal preoccupations and sensibilities. Pauper, prince, physician, politician, priest, or prostitute – male or female – all are hidden by the Fabric of Enchantment.
Fabrics of Enchantment