Morning in Venice

Vern and I were awake at 4 AM yesterday and about 6:30 decided to go out for a look around while the day was still cool–by which I mean 77 degrees or so. We headed for Sst. Mark’s Square, passing only a few pigeons in the narrow streets. Approaching the archway into the square, the morning haze was bright with early sun. First an Asian girl, then a solitary man, then a scattering of others came into view–photographers all, repositioning themselves for one shot after another of the domes, the clock tower, the great winged lion, gilded by the sunrise. The hordes who fill the square by day and night were still abed. The only other souls about were two men sweeping the pavement with twig brooms, gathering the discarded butts and candy wrappers, plastic water bottles and ticket stubs, into piles. They called out to one another as they worked, but my ears aren’t yet tuned to Italian to know what they said. We crossed to the waterside where gondolasrocked gently in their blue covers, and looped south past the little Kaffeehaus before turning back into the narrow streets toward our apartment. Now a few signs of commerce appeared–not yet an open bar (we had hoped to find a coffee) but men pushing hand trucks piled heavily with cases of bottled water or boxes of eggplant, tomatoes, lemons, headed to a restaurant. The trash man came, picking up plastic bags set ot for him. And as we walked along one canal, a boat with a large metal tank collected sewage through a fat flexible hose. We neared our apartment, and passed a couple of sleepy tourists in the restaurant of a large hotel, picking at their breakfast. Finally, by 7:30, the world was coming back to life.
This was so unlike our experiences in other Italian cities off the tourist path. There, they have business to conduct, shops to open, and they gather early for a quick espresso and a glance through the newspaper along the way. But here, the tourist rules, and seems almost to have become the reason for Venice’s existence. Strangers gather to view her history, and there’s money in it. But no real reason to be up at 7 AM.


6 thoughts on “Morning in Venice

  1. A friend warned me to never visit Venice in the Summer because the sewerage boiled away in the canals! We ended up going for part of Holy Week.

  2. I love your descriptions! Venice in the early morning and late at night is so different and so lovely. Whenever people say they are going to Venice, I always tell them to make sure to stay overnight. I envy you everything but the heat!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s