A place once visited

City lights are enchanting, nowhere more so than in Venice in June 2008

City lights are enchanting, nowhere more so than in Venice. June 2008

“Venice appeared to me as in a recurring dream, a place once visited and now fixed in memory like images on a photographer’s plates…”Gary Inbinder

Sometimes a place seems magical because of the circumstances of our time there, but some are inherently spellbinding.  Venice is certainly such a place, especially as the daylight is waning and the lamps begin to sparkle.

I have fond memories of a night Jeff and I spent wandering among the canals and seemingly endless bridges, winding pathways through shops, restaurants and alleys, past silent buildings closed for the night.  Moonlight and lamplight were reflected in the canals, and the music in St. Mark’s Square wafted over the breeze.  The atmosphere was so thick that even several years later, it comes back vividly in my imagination, ever-alluring and probably slightly embellished by my memory.

What are your favorite enchanting places?  Take a few minutes to daydream about your ideal visit there.  Feel free to share a photo or a memory in the comments.


  1. Eric

    Was I reading “Rick Steve’s”? No, they were the words of my own little sister!”

    • I think you can still download free podcasts of Rick Steve’s audio tours. I had one I listened to while waiting in line at the Vatican, and it was quite helpful as an orientation.

  2. Ann

    My husband and I will be in Venice in a few weeks! We’ll toast the sunset in your honor 🙂


    • Please do! I hope you will have a wonderful time!

  3. Mike Bertoglio

    Venice is definitely on my bucket list. Been to Rome once briefly in the 70’s.
    Probably for me it is a moonrise at Kailua beach with the light reflecting off the Mokes.
    I will never forget that.

    • Yes, that Hawaiian moon is perfect, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing that memory.

  4. Have heard a lot about Venice. I think the lights reflected make the place magical.
    Our favourite spot is Kodaikanal ( http://bindujohnroy.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/save-a-tree-eat-a-beaver/ ) , a hill station in South India. We have visited it several times and it still holds the same charm for us. Can’t wait anymore to escape from the desert heat into the cool greenery of such places.

  5. Carolyn

    Terry and I enjoyed our drives across the country on our way to California. So much to see. Our tour out of country took us on a trip to Greece. I don’t think I have a special place because they were all great. We both love the mountians. You can see some of Gods wonderful works in the Rockies. You all have a great week-end and hugs and love to you.

    • I’m like you Carolyn, it’s hard to choose favorite places because I love so many! Hope you have a blessed weekend.

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I read your words and you take me there! What a gift you have, my friend. I so want to return to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. As I think of the lovely cathedrals, the colorful pottery, street vendors, wonderful food and the terracotta walls and gates that afforded privacy for the residents, I long to go back. Our evening in Tennessee is so beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with y’all, Sheila

    • Thanks Sheila, it is so good to hear from you tonight. Thanks for sharing with me about San Miguel de Allende. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Tough week for us, so not a lot to say except, as always, I am so grateful for your visits here!

  7. I have been very lucky to have traveled many places in my life. I have enjoyed almost all of them. One of my favorites was to a little town called, “Domremy”. I went on a quiet day with a dear friend who knew more about it than I did. We got lost along the way and very nice man tried to talk us out of it telling us there was nothing there but a “kliene kirche” (a tiny church). I suppose if one is being practical that really is ALL there is in Domremy but for me it was magic. Perhaps it was the company but I loved it there. I could almost see Joan there. I went again later with my husband but it did not hold the same magic. I loved that trip. Praying you are doing ok tonight. I love you.

    • That’s a favorite memory for me too, Amy. Joan’s story really captured my imagination when I was a young girl, so it was wonderful to see where it all happened so long ago. As for the “kliene kirche” – that guy must have somehow missed the nearby basilica!

  8. I have to agree with you Julia, Venice is magical. There’s just no other place like it. We were there in 2008, it was late September, the weather beautiful, the crowds thin and our hotel opened to the Grande Canal. If I had to pick only one, it would be my favourite destination, so romantic. Here I am in our beautiful Gondola

    • Lovely photo, thanks for sharing it! Sounds like a dreamy trip. I bet September would be a perfect time to go.

    • What a lovely photo. I too love Venice. Maybe you and I and Julia can one day. 🙂

      • I think you meant to say “you and I and HM will visit one day?” She will, of course, have to travel incognito. I can’t handle that entourage!

      • 🙂 Of course it would be WAY too much!!! But it makes for a lovely dream.

  9. HM says if not a gondola in Venice, perhaps a lovely punt on the Thames or the Cam? 🙂

  10. Rene

    Bologna is a place I would like to dally; but we were lucky to have (distant) relations there & I think that makes a big difference in how you experience a place. My favorite memory of Venice is the maitre d’ of a restaurant, actually in front of the restaurant, smiling and nodding along with his “buon giorno,” as we passed by. We went back to that restaurant for lunch.

    • Rene, I agree that having friends or relatives in a place makes a huge difference in how it feels to be there. Locals know so many secrets about what to do and what to avoid. I have not been to Bologna but I would like to go. It would be nice to have a long time to explore Italy. If I could go back it would be so hard to choose which part to visit, but I’d love to see northern Italy and would probably start there. Isn’t it amazing how much difference a smile and a friendly greeting can make?

  11. Rene

    It is amazing. Whatever I ordered that day wasn’t that spectacular (compared to all the home-cooked meals we ate), but I’ll never forget the greeting and then the way he fussed over us when we came back. It was as if he knew he had to make good on the promise.

    • These experiences are magical, and help me to remember how we can make a BIG difference with just a little effort! Stories like this are great examples.


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