Fall in Venice

Venezia. Venice. Venedig. Venecia, البندقية, 威尼斯, ヴェネツィア. Or the best one, in original dialect: Venessia.

Venice

A typical day in Fall

 

One of the most used and abused city in the world, top destination for tourists, pigeons and seagulls, even dog poo organises strategic tours there. Seriously, what to add about Venezia that somebody else hasn’t brilliantly already said? But -imho- I think I have it.

Ladies and Gents let me introduce you to a person who actually lived there: me.

#Fact: I am a former resident in Venice.

#Fact: There is a way to live and avoid the mass of tourists and enjoy the city as well.

#Fact: Venice is a pure pain in the ass to live in, but when the sun shines it’s the most compelling place to be. Yes, Venezia is as difficult as wonderful.

#Fact: I lived in Cannaregio and in the end loved it.

Cannaregio is the neighbourhood up North-East, facing the land of sea before Italy starts. It develops in length, through 3 wide streets and when just the first one is being walked by tourism, the other two are populated by shops, local restaurants, churches and friendly cats.

Venice cannaregio

madonna degli orti

Cannaregio

The Jewish Ghetto is the most famous spot and its square is generous in space, letting kids and dogs to stroll around and play.

Venice cannaregio

Venice cannaregio

Write this down: I have favourite places around the island, but the bridge facing Cannaregio’s harbour in Corte Vecchia has one of the most romantic and quiet aura.

Venice cannaregio

Venice cannaregio harbour

Quicken up because of a train to catch I soaked in a sea of fog and hit&run we-are-all-professional-photographers tourists in San Marco Area. I hope this is not the only Venezia they will experience.

tourist and palazzo ducale

Leftovers:

cannaregio bridge ghetto

venice hospital

breakfast

Castello

View from San Marco

November: Padova

I waited a bit before writing this chapter, in part because i was expected to travel more, but also because I didn’t want to tell about November in a very personal, quite cheesy way.
Since a blog is personal, alright I’ll spill the beans you about my trip back to Padova.

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I spent four years at University in Padova, enjoying almost every minute of it. The city is home of one of the oldest University in Europe and the centre is a lovely mosaic of squares, beautiful buildings, street markets and porches.

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God only knows how much I missed walking through the porches. A porch is protection from rain and sun, selection of sight, meeting with strangers: there’s more contact on a porch than on a normal pavement, you can feel the humanity and the history that the columns have been holding.

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The reason I went back was a special wedding/celebration. Imagine that:
A friend of mine, after 5 years at University left to find better luck in New Zealand; there he met a Japanese gal, they fell in love and lived together. For a cruel matter of visa, they both had to go back to the home countries. They stayed together almost 2 years, seeing each others when possible, here and there. I remember talking with my friend before one of his trip to Tokyo: he was working an average of 14 hours per day in order to save enough money to live there for a month. He wasn’t complaining at all about that, actually couldn’t hide his joy to hug soon her dream girl.
Eventually they managed to get visas for Canada and moved for good. They got married in June without many among family and friends and so this November they organised to travel and celebrate their love with the Italian side; next year they’ll do the same in Japan.
Love always finds its way, when determination holds on.

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Now, I could I miss this occasion? My friend and his beautiful bride reminded me how simple true feelings are even in the difficulties. I’ve always been touched by choices made with the heart and I felt like I wanted to be part of that party, so to convince myself that happy endings are still possible.
Yes they are.

Goodbye Italia, goodbye memories.

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P.S. Still, no room for my camera in the hand-luggage, forced to take pics with my decent not-so-much-brilliant camera. Apologies for the quality, feel free to insult me for the lack of professionalism.

P.P.S. I’ve come to the age that I travel to see people getting married and have child. What’s my age again?

February: Veneto

First thing that hit me getting off the plane in Verona is the synesthesia between the brightness of the sky and the strong smell of manure.


Around me the countryside, at the end of the horizon the mountains: welcome to Veneto.

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Val Leogra, Alto Vicentino, Veneto

This word, Veneto, this Region remind me intimate feelings, most of the time battling on: love for my family, boredom, enthusiasm for seeing old friendly faces and places, annoyance, impatience. I am pretty sure that the curse for every person who has decided not to settle down where family is, instead, to move away from the place of origin is that every time you go back you feel again a teenager, and with it a nervous tension that makes you think:
a) “Nothing much changes here, people especially”
b) “I can’t resist staying here anymore than a fistful of days “
c) “How much do I still belong here?”
I think every expat has experienced that.

Along the years I’ve come to an answer for the last burning-in-me question in point c: I do belong to Veneto for the good vibrations that its rich green nature and the smile of people give me, nothing more, so that dramas, a strict sense of belonging and Italian bad behaviours can stay out of my mind, no regrets.
I know, I am not making justice this time describing this wonderful and different every mile land in North Italy: as I say feelings come stronger and lead me.
The region is humid, especially in San Vito di Leguzzano area, where most of my “tribe” is; the cold of February goes straight into the bones, making you shiver all day. A good shelter is the bar, center of every social activity with the main square, where you can sip a lovely not-bloody-expensive-as-abroad cappuccino, have a croissant or tramezzino (the food of the Gods, indeed) and then, while reading the sport or local newspaper and chatting with fellas, it’s time for the aperitivo.

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Baricentro, lovely bar in San Vito di Leguzzano states “We give credit only to 90 years old people if accompanied by parents”

 

Aperitivo is the excuse number 1 in Veneto not to go straight home after work or to catch up with friends or just the best way to skip dinner!
The most typical and beloved drink in the region is spritz: white wine (Prosecco to be more elegant, either richer), a bit of sparkling water, Aperol or Campari (there are actual differenr political parties/religions about that), everything served with crisps, tramezzini or crunchy toasted bread with sauces, BOOM! The best part of the day, the most genuine character can start and so chats, banters, “I take this. No no no, let me pay this time” discussions and laughters.
Being part of Veneto means that the more you work, the more you celebrate after. Sometimes so much you miss the Sunday ceremony due to hangover. Sorry priest.
Catholicism in the surface, family lunch, devotion for the nature and mountains, passion for food and alcohol, confidence of “same places, people, talks”: this is what I see in Veneto.
Moreover, the main square with a church, a bar or two, the supermarket; and more playgrounds where youngsters meet, old crumbling houses, old people looking outside the window, smell of freshly baked bread.

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Vicenza, my main city.

A great taste in clothes and good looking people conclude the painting.
Do you like this image? Take it or leave it. Or, as I do, take it a weekend, then leave. It can be painful, especially if you leave behind something like this…

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Janis

If interested: http://www.veneto.to/home