Day 2 in Venice found us awake early, having another Italian breakfast of yogurt and fruit and wine. Then off to the island via bus (crowded; not enough bus service in the morning rush-hour). We’d decided that this was going to be a true “get lost” day, and also “avoid the tourist” day.
The plan was to take a left in the middle of the tourist crush on one of the main shopping/hotel thoroughfares. When we did this, all that was ahead of us were residential buildings stretching to the north end of Venice. We wandered down canal streets and took pictures, saw lots of pensioners watering their flowers, and soaked up the peace and quiet of this island that can otherwise be a body-cluster freak show.
Along one canal we found a small restaurant teeming with locals, and so sat down for a 3-course lunch with wine and coffee and sambucca. A youngish man across from us made a remark in halting English about my sambucca, which sprung up a little post-lunch conversation. He was in the rehab/remodeling business, which on Venice is a thriving industry, given that these buildings are hundreds of years old and many delapidated condition. Anyway, he asked me if there was work for him in America, and how much an apartment cost in NYC. When I told him, he had the look of resignation that maybe Venice wasn’t such a bad place after all.
Later in the afternoon, we found ourselves back in St Mark’s Square, and I took Asia through the Royal Gardens (a review of which I made on European City Parks back in 2006). Later still, when the sun was below the building tops and the air had cooled somewhat, we again made it to Bambini Square for our gelato and a beer. Tonight some Italian was raving into his cellphone to someone who should have hung up on his sorry ass, but nonetheless because he/she did not, half the island got to see him make a lunatic, gesturing spectacle of himself. Here are the pictures from Day Two, which was also “Black & White Day”::