Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day Two: Venice

My inner clock still thinks it is in Key Largo - throwing me for a loop.  Woke up early today - wanted to see the sunrise but missesd it  by a few minutes.  I got to see Venice waking up.  The majority of the shops were still closed but some were open with wonderful cafe latte, lots of local Venezians talking and the smell of fresh bread everywhere you go.

It was 57 degrees.  You could smell the canals but it is not an unpleasant smell.  Quite the contrary.  It was spicy and cold.  The Gondoleros were not present yet; the gondolas parked and covered waiting to be boarded and become part of the experience of so many people who come to Venice - the City of Romance - to ride the gondolas.

I went for a walk and was met with so many "good mornings" (bon journo) that I felt like part of the City.  I was smiling as I walked marveling at the fact that I am here.

I guess I should take a Venetian mask home.  They are sort of creepy but so iconic to Venice.  So many to choose from.  Maybe I need to extend my stay so I can make up my mind.

I stopped at a shop that sells beautiful pens and had a long and interesting conversation with the shop keeper.  A man about my age - maybe a little younger.  He was born and brought up in Venice.  When I complimented him on his beautiful City he tells me that it is in fact beautiful but that it is very hard to live here.  He tells me that before the second world war there were over 200,000 Venetians living in Venice.  Now there are less than 20,000.  He says they have lost their identity and their traditions - their way of life.  He explained to me how Venice's entire lifestyle has been lost.  That it has become a "Disney Land" intended for tourists, not Venetians.  He didn't say this in a bad way - quite the contrary - he seemed sad.  He went on to tell me how every other City in Italy has a "tourist area" - Rome, Livorgno, Tuscany.. - but that Venice is totally a tourist area.   There are no amenities for those that live here.  There are very few schools, doctors.  Education has suffered at the hands of tourism as has the family in general.  I have been thinking about this all day and have seen Venice today through those glasses and I understand what he told me.

Selfishly we come here, we fall in love with this beautiful City and we want to come back.  Those that are born here must leave.  It is too hard to live here.  So sad.


  1. I told you before you left that Venice made me sad...while beautiful I always feel sad and all my trips there ended early....maybe in another life I was Venetian and that is where the sadness comes from....

  2. Fascinating. I'm enjoying the lessons, La Maestra! Venice sounds like Manhattan--few who work in NYC can afford to live there. I'm smiling thinking of you saying good morning to passers by.