Friday, April 17, 2009

Ah to be in Venice now that Acqua Alta is here

After two summers of living for four weeks in Padua and one summer of living for five weeks in Venice, I am looking forward to this summer, when we will live in Venice for two weeks and then on a barge going from Mantua to Venice for a week, sightseeing by bicycle. But eventually, I would like to try actually living there.

Gondola Park, Venice, Italy

Maybe Shakespeare never got to Venice but he made you feel the essence of the place, even if his facts were wrong. That essence draws you to the lagoon and its many wonders, especially if you find the quieter spots where the tourists don't linger.

I have been to Venice and I some day I intend to stay. I want have my coffee and brioche at my regular bar every morning so that the staff knows me and what I want without my having to ask. I want to shop at the markets on the Rialto, stroll through Campo San Stefano eating gelato from Paolin, explore the ghetto, and sit in a cafe on the Giudecca, looking across the water while drinking spritz and eating potato chips while I talk with friends. I long to cross the Grand Canal in a traghetto again and again. I want to have an ombra and some cichetti at a bacaro when I feel hungry in the middle of the day. I would try to speak Italian well enough that the Venetians wouldn't switch to English immediately. I would try to have a circle of friends so I wouldn't be lonely or alone. I would even be willing to try to manage with the Acqua Alta. After all, who can say they have really lived in Venice if they haven't experienced the quintessential Venetian experience.

I would never be Venetian, but I would want to live there long enough to be able to pretend I was.

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