That moment you are seized with doubt as to what to pack for a short break in another city.
Here you are, ready for a long-awaited getaway for a few days: tickets printed out or downloaded onto your smartphone, hotel booked online and suitcase open, ready to be packed with what you might need.
But what is going to be useful or what must absolutely not be left out of your case?
Your choices, obviously, depend on the season of the year; you don’t need the same things in winter that you need in the summer.
However sometimes you are going to ask yourself, “Is it cold there or is it hot? Will it rain?”
That’s when you go onto your computer and you try to work out what the weather is going to be like at your chosen location at the time of year you have opted to escape, getting away from the daily routine of work, home and everyday commitments – to do something different somewhere different, seeing new people and faces.
Speaking personally, my suitcase is never missing a camera with a couple of lenses for all my requirements, given my love of photography.
However, for non-photographers a compact camera or a smartphone may be sufficient.
So, in terms of specifics, what do you need to pack for a trip to Venice at the most romantic, cultural and relaxing times?
If you come in February, you are going to have a mask to wear, so you can blend into the carnival crowd and walk around the city without being recognised, just like Casanova, even if he – and he was not the only one – took the opportunity for the odd gentleman’s rendezvous.
If you don’t have a mask, that is not a problem; there are countless shops and stalls which can offer you an ample choice of models – from the simplest, such as the classic and simple ‘bauta’ mask, to more elaborate masks to cater for every taste and budget.
If, however, the time you have chosen for your visit is the summer, you mustn’t fail to pack a swimming costume in your little suitcase.
After a long walk along Venice’s streets and squares, admiring the treasures of the city, a visit to the Venice Lido, the free-access beach at the end of the Venetian Gran Viale canal, can provide the visitor, weary from the summer heat and humidity, with a refreshing dip.
The autumn is another time to discover Venice: caught in the mists, which are spectacular and almost surreal at this time of year, often in November, you may easily encounter a phenomenon known as the ‘high water’, or when the tide reaches higher levels than usual and floods a large part of the city.
You would do well to have a pair of rubber boots in your suitcase so that, regardless, you can get around without a problem, but beware: some tides are so high that the water can even get into your boots if they are not high enough.