How I found – and lost – love in the most romantic city of the world…

How I found – and lost – love in the most romantic city of the world…

So there he was, standing in front of me, smiling. I was in Venice, what could be pretty romantic except that I was standing in the kitchen of a party hostel packed with noisy twenty-somethings and I was already late for my train to Milano.

And yet, this was one of the most romantic and memorable moments of my life.

There are just a few moments of my life when I look back and I really regret a decision I took. Actually, right now I can`t think of more than two… One was because of something I did.

This one is because something I didn`t do. 

This is not going to be an ordinary travel post. I can post some pictures here, just so you can have an idea of where I was and where this story happens. Venezia. The most romantic city of the world…!

venezia venice
Even the “cliché” gondola pictures look amazing here…

It happened on my first trip alone through Europe. Well, through Italy. I had bought a unbelievable cheap promotional flight (Ryanair, the air company we all claim to hate but secretly love) from Barcelona to Milano. But I had too many days in Milano so I decided to go somewhere else from there. The method to choose was: Cheap and reachable by train (I was a student on a budget). Chosen destination: Venice!

I have this thing that whenever I`m traveling somewhere, I search for cultural events on the area. Art/photography exhibitions, concerts, festivals. That`s how I`ve been to two photography exhibitions of Steve McCurry (NatGeo master photographer and utter idol), and some other pretty amazing events. But on this trip I hit jackpot: I was going to be in Venice at the time of the worldly famous and magical Carnevale di Venezia, the masquerade carnival (you can see my pictures of it here). So I did what I almost never do: I chose a party hostel to stay at. If I`m going to be there during this amazing celebration, better go big and live it to the fullest, I thought.

Venice Venezia
That`s me, and that was my beautifully decadent hostel, with the blue windows!

If only I had followed this idea to the end…

First (and only) night there, I was having dinner with the crowd at the hostel. It was this really crappy but cool hotel (some could call it decadent) just by one of the canals. To get to the door you had to cross a bridge, amazing! The place was not the cleanest I`ve been but for one night that was ok. Also I wasn`t planning on sleeping much anyway so… The owner cooked dinner for everyone staying there – pasta, of course –  and we just had to bring our wines, a really nice touch in my opinion. We were all going to a masks party later, at this old square. So there we were, getting to know each other, drinking and talking, a group of about 30 travellers from all over the world when HE walked through the door.

Do you know when, just like the movies, suddenly the time seems to freeze, all the sounds go mute and all you can see is this person? I come from the south of Brazil, land of Gisele Bundchen and geographically blessed with the genes of beautiful people everywhere. This guy was handsome, but it wasn`t just that… I can`t explain. I just felt something, something really strong. We locked eyes from across the room, just for a few seconds… I was too shy and dumb back then to do more than that. I hoped I would see him at the party. I forgot that we were going to a masquerade party…

He wasn`t staying at the hostel, he was a friend of someone there. When we left to the party, people spread into groups… that spread across the square… Needless to say, I didn`t see him there. I searched, the whole night I searched for him, trying to identify his square jaw, his green eyes behind a mask… I couldn`t find him. I had a great time, though, and even kissed another really cute italian guy whose name I can`t remember (I do have a picture with him). But all through the night, that man did not leave my mind…

Carnevale Venezia
This is how you party in Venice! (I`m the one with the huge pink feathers mask)!

The next day was my last day in Venice and I wanted to see a little more of the city. I became friends with this super sweet girl from Argentina who also loved photography so we spent the whole day together wandering around Venice. By the time I got back to the hostel I was already running late to catch my train to Milano, my  4 euros Ryanair flight back to Barcelona would leave from there the next morning so I had to be back that night. Mysterious-stunning-Italian guy had left my mind a couple of hours ago, lost between amazing mask and luxury velvet dresses and old stucco walls and little bridges…

Carnevale Venezia Venice Carnival Masks
This is one of the pictures I tool that day. You can see a lot more of them here.

As I entered the hostel to grab my backpack, there he was, in the hostel`s living room. My heart skipped a beat but time was a luxury I didn`t have so I just looked to the floor and headed for the kitchen. I was putting my backpack on my shoulders when I felt his presence behind me, blocking the kitchen door.

So there he was, standing in front of me, smiling.

He came after me!!! His smile faded for a few seconds when he saw my backpack. He looked into my eyes and said “I can`t believe you are leaving, now that I found you!”

Oh my god… Oh my god oh my god ohmygod!!! This was really happening. Mysterious-handsome-Italian guy was here, talking to me, wanting me to stay and I had to go. I had to leave. Like, now. Like, 5 minutes ago. What do I do? What the hell do I do??? I told him I had to leave, that I had a train to catch and that I was already late. He asked me to stay, just for that night, so we could go to dinner together and drink wine and get to know each other.

And so I put the backpack down and smiled and we spent the most amazing, romantic night together wandering around the most romantic city of the world.

Gondola Venezia Venice
Had I finally found someone to go Gondola riding through the canals of Venezia?

Oh no. Wait. No, I didn`t. I was a young, overly cautious girl, too scared to take this kind of impulsive risk, so I did what every responsable twenty-something girl did, right? I chose to leave…

ARGHHHHHHH!!!! If only I could go back in time! You have no idea HOW MUCH I regret not spending that one night in Venice. And for what, a 4 euros plain ticket back to Barcelona? WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!?

And just to make things even more perfectly worse… He said to me: “Before you go, let`s take a picture together, so we can remember each other”. So I gave someone my camera and just as the picture was being taken… He kissed me. He KISSED ME! Mysterious-I-already-love-you-Italian guy stole a kiss from me! And I still left!!! To never see him again… As I think about it, I want to shoot myself. Who nows, I might be married to the love of my life and living in Italy by now…

If only I had stayed… If only…

Venice Venezia
…This could have been the most romantic night of my life! (big sad sigh…)


P.S.: If you are thinking “why didn`t they exchange contacts/Facebook/Whatsapp, this was in 2010, before the invention of Whatsapp and the popularization of social networks – I know, medieval times practically – and also I was so shocked by that kiss that I just stumbled out the door to the station – Now I wish I had lost that train, but I did make it, unfortunately;

P.S. 2: There is a photo of this moment, not the kiss exactly but my astonished reaction to it. And even my MOM told me I should have stayed when she saw the photo – when she saw him; I will never forgive myself…

P.S. 3: All I know about him is that his name was Andrea and he was from Firenze.

P.S.4: I`m going to write a post about Venice soon so you can see more pictures of this amazing city! 😉



This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Maria Lucia

    Fantastic you have expressed and shared your feelings!
    Try to think that this moment remains so magic exactly because you didnt stay.
    You can imgine it the way you desire.
    Many kisses!

    1. admin

      Hi Maria Lucia,

      Yes, that is a good way of thinking… At least I got a nice story out of it! I have some friends that read the post actually telling me to post the picture with him, that maybe we could find each other with this and the social media and all…
      … That would make an even better story!

      But so far, I think this will have to stay in my memories… Although I would love to see him again…! (a girl can dream, right?)

      Thanks for your comment!!! 🙂 Kisses!!!

  2. Lynn S.

    I love this story! It’s so cute and quirky and I can only imagine the feelings you were going through. It’s like a movie, hahaha! I’m looking forward to visiting Venice at the end of the month! Thank you for such a great post! It was an entertaining read. Can’t wait to see your Venice post.

    XO LYNN | Travel, Nursing, and Women Enpowerment

    1. admin

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for your comment, I`m really glad you liked it!
      Venice is a beautiful city, with all the channels and the coloured houses and bridges… I`m sure you are going to love it!
      One tip I can give you, when in Venice: Forget about maps! The city is like a maze, but a beautiful one to get lost at. I had as location references the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, and you can find indications of those two all around, but that is almost the only references you will find. Don`t worry though, just enjoy wandering around the city and don`t forget to try some delicious italian gelatos (ice creams), I had one of the best of my life there, made of Nutella, too bad I can`t remember the name of the place!

  3. Julia Dent

    Awww you should have stayed! That’s such a great story!

    1. admin

      I know!!! I wish I had…
      And you know what, I`m going to Florence next month, that`s where he was from… Would`t it be amazing if I saw him???

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