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Having been in Venice 3 times before, there’s no need to hit up the typical attractions and sights. The selfie-stick crowds at San Marco Square are plain ridiculous. Pushing and shoving.

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While enjoying the beauty of this wonderful place, we opted to stay away from the crowds and craziness.

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It’s not that hard. Even in the middle of the busy season, you can encounter emptiness.

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We walked for hours. With a guide. Without a guide. Getting lost. Finding the path again.

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The view from the kitchen.

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I spent one early morning walking the beach at Lido. There were some families, some people. Mostly, it was just myself. It’s a lovely way to get away from the masses.

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Even if you try to stay off the beaten path, we opted for a gondola ride. Look at all these fake-smile-selfie-faces.

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Besides the selfie smile, there was a lot of wonder riding a gondola.

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And, what a miracle this place is.

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My second favorite activity was taking pictures of places. Houses. Doors. Windows.

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Or Italian life happening around me.

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My favorite activity was exploring the Biennale, happening every two years in Venice. This was part of the German pavillion. A Tron-like experience.

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Russia pretty much killed it.

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The South Korean pavilion was astonishing. A transcendental story told through videos.

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Japan – The Key in the Hand: “In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. In this work, Shiota will incorporate keys as a medium that conveys our true feelings. Moreover, she will place two boats in the center of the yarn and the keys, suspended from the ceiling to the floor of the space. The boats symbolize two hands catching a rain of memories (i.e., countless keys) pouring down from the ceiling. While struggling and working with the hands, the two boats will move forward through a huge sea of memory as they collect individual memories.”

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The United Nations of Eliminated Nations. Flags of countries that don’t exist anymore: Yugoslavia, East Germany, etc.

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Throughout the city, you can find palazzos transformed into museums.

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I was even featured in a painting.

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While it poured outside.

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“Never say goodbye” by Wu Tien-chang. Loved the magical artistry.

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This touched me deeply. Hundreds of pictures, faces being wiped off.

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Everything will be taken away. No doubt about it.

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My favorite image of the Venice trip. She has seen so much, has been beaten up and time has taken its toll. But she still conveys this liveliness and optimism. All will be good. Even though, everything will be taken away.

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