Venice-bound AgainMarch 15, 2012
"In Venice you may occasionally see a man thrown forcibly from a bar, all arms and muddled protests, just like in the films; and rollicking are the songs the Venetian students sing, when they have some wine inside them. I once heard a pair of inebriates passing my window at four o'clock on a May morning, and looking out into the Rio San Trovaso I saw them riding by in a gondola. They were sitting on the floor of the boat, drumming on its floor-boards, banging its seats, singing and shouting incoherently at the tops of their thickened voices: but on the poop of the gondola, rowing with an easy, dry, worldly stroke, an elderly grey-haired gondolier propelled them aloofly toward the dawn."
This kind of writing (from The World of Venice) is why I love Jan Morris (she has a Tumblr! I am exceedingly excited and fan-girly about this). I saw her speak once at Berkeley years ago, and she was lovely, intensely interesting, and smart as hell. On her recommendation, I'm going to (probably) explore my way through Croatia to Trieste for a day or two while I'm in Venice. Of course, I might not, also.
This is what I will do in Venice:
Read. Walk. Sleep. Eat. Ride boats, lots of them. Drink coffee until it is time to drink wine. Take photographs. (Oh, and write. But do you see how that's rather low on the list? This will be a real vacation. I swear.)
I leave tomorrow. Expect either radio silence or tons of pictures if the wifi actually works. I almost hope it doesn't. It would be nice to be disconnected, I think.
* Travel writer Jan Morris has a fascinating backstory -- he was born James Morris, and he married his wife in 1949, had five children, and then transitioned to female in 1964, when it was a very big deal to do so. Doctors in Britain refused to do the surgery unless he divorced his wife (!), so he went to Morocco for the surgery. Later, they did in fact divorce but remained together, and get this: in 2008, they were legally partnered again when it became legal to do so in a civil partnership. Awwww. She's 85 now, and she's one of my heroes.
** I finished my Venice Madness sweater, the one I cast on for ten days ago, in a fit of must-have-black-lace-sweater-for-trip (Rav link). Forgive the poor photos, I'll try to get better ones in la Serenissima.