I often feel a stupid pride whenever I’m in a new city and in my fear of looking like a tourist by referring to maps I often get lost as I march on, stubbornly pretending to know how to reach my destination. But I don’t feel this shame in Venice; it seems everyone here, including the Italians, is a tourist. And it’s liberating to boldly walk around with a half-open map in one’s hand, stopping every couple of steps to try and figure out which little canal we are crossing or what that magnificent church we have just stumbled upon is called.
We took the vaparetto from Palanca to Pizzale Roma early in the afternoon and from there meandered the narrow streets, crossing countless bridges and squares until we happened across the most exquisite little paper shop near Casa Goldini in the district of San Polo. Luckily we share a passion for stationary and so took our time browsing the selection of beautiful leather-bound notebooks, magnifying glasses with delicate Murano glass handles and gorgeous wax seal sets. After some modest haggling (initiated by the very friendly owner) we settled on an oxblood notebook, which was wrapped for us in handmade paper and secured with string and wax seals.
Unfortunately our joint worship of notebooks also comes with a shared sense of unworthiness of actually using them. It’s as if the words we put in them must not only be profound, but also written in the most beautiful hand. With such great expectations there simply seems to be no point in trying. So whether we will eventually use this beauty or whether it will be merely admired and occasionally caressed only time will tell.
Venice is not only bursting with paper shops, there also seems to be a pasticceria on nearly every corner, offering a tempting assortment of goodies. Since our Italian is nonexistent we are utterly clueless when making our selections; nevertheless today we bravely bought a box bursting with various cream puffs and chocolaty delicacies, and arriving back at the flat with said box after a long day, spent almost entirely on foot, it was wonderful to have a cup of tea, put our feet up and just indulge.
The papershop is called Karisma and the address is San Polo 2752. All the objects in the shop are made on the premises by the owner. It is truly worth a visit.