the merchants of venice: us!

Venice, we are no longer “Under the Tuscan Sun”. You pour down pleasures of aquatic plentitude upon us. We are now Under the Venetian Rainclouds.

This side of Italy is expensive. Where Firense’s gelato was twice Rome’s price, Vennezia requires water taxis everywhere, ten times more than a New York taxi. They say there is a family price available, but they’re talking two adults and two children. We have been told a few times: you make too many children, and for those offended by that notion, keep in mind that there are very few children here.

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The cost is always directly related to demand, of course. 10,000 tourists depart cruise ships to Venice every day! There’s a reason there are endless knickknack shops of Venetian masks and Murano glass and postcards and calendars of the Pope. And why my lot is tired of the crowds!

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Even on this pouring rainy day, Saint Mark’s Square is a lake of umbrellas, which makes for a rainbow of colours. The kids were eager to walk along the ‘tables’ conveniently placed throughout the square, to access the other side of the Duomo. High tides occur every six hours. Venice is familiar with flooding; glad we got to see it before it goes the way of Atlantis.

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When our triple layers were soaked through, we purchased “I love Vennezia” plastic ponchos from the train station. We made a trip back to our Jewish Ghetto apartment to change our socks, tie our feet in plastic bags and tromp out again, to a water ferry toward San Marcos and a guided tour of the Grand Canal.Italia 2013 166

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We learned that Lord Byron lived here. He didn’t like boats, so he swam everywhere. That’s an alternative I suppose.  A little tricky for a mom of four, unless you’re a duck.

We learned that Wagner (pronounced Vogner), musical writer and performer, when not performing could be found at the world’s oldest casino in downtown Venice. No after-hours outdoor activities for us.

The kids were most curious to learn about a man that was hung from a downtown square for having served great soup—finger food meant something different to this fellow. He was discovered to have stewed human body parts; a finger was found. I am less fond of this tidbit of trivia.

Hannah says she misses home for the food. The pasta? The cioccolota? The gelato? Perhaps the simplicity of home.

I am not there yet, as I could really live on this food. Last night we went to Turista Centrale…okay, that’s not the name, but it was right beside the famous Rialto Bridge, cheap tables with plastic chairs, a menu with HAMBURGERS and polish sausage on it, with pics, so you can just point. AIY. And to my embarrassment, each of the kids ordered hamburgers or hot dogs. This is a sign that this trip is nearing an end!

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