Suspended Animation

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 10:17

It's bloody freezing, and it seems Italy has gone nuts. I decided to be good, and go in early today, and even had time for some breakfast (marmalade-filled croissant for €1, don't mind if I do!) Anyway, I arrived at Uni at 9.10, only to find the door to our class already open and nobody outside. Sheepishly, I entered, and could hear the quiet tone of our little old Arts lecturer. I glanced to my left, and there were five girls standing in the walkway between the lecture hall and the wall, so I toddled on over to see what the fuss was about. The lecturer spotted me, and turned, and summed up everything in one sentence:

Dicevo che la nostra facoltà sarà chiusa per due giorni, per mostrare supporto alla manifestazione di oggi, perché riguarda al vostro futuro.

Or something like that. Basically: class are suspended to keep your protesting pals happy. So, I guess this makes it a five day weekend for me! On that note, I'm going to go on a bit of a jolly today. Either to Genova on the 1pm train...or to Milan, again...or to somewhere else. I've not quite decided. What I have decided, however, is that I can't for the life of me type on an Italian keyboard. Who in the hell puts the apostrophe at the top, next to 0, and the colon at the bottom, and the @ sign hidden behind an alt+ctrl on a key labelled òç@ eh!? (essentially the key next to where the questionmark is on an English keyboard. I keep hitting that button, only to come up with à. What the frackà?)

A Distinct Lack of Awesomesauce.

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 22 November 2010 at 15:16

Hello and Good Monday 22nd of  November. I'm Molly, and this is Rocketboom. (Sorry, that's a lie; but such a nice way to introduce a blog/vlog.)

Today, dear readers, I'm on a bit of a down. My entire weekend was composed of a 12:1 ratio of Suck to AwesomeSauce. In fact, it seems my entire life lately is hitting that rut of suckage : awesomesauce. I really don't think it's right. However, for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you'll probably have spotted the reason why. My current status reads:

Vorrei essere studioso. Invece divento scostante.
(Or in English: I want to be studious. Instead I become unapproachable.)

Every week there's something to do, at least if I'm a student -- I can go out with friends, I can go out with the ESN folks, I can grab a coffee, I can pass the day in the company of people I've never met -- but because I feel the urge to actually be a good student this trimester, I'm missing out on all of this. Last trimester, you may know, I missed out on a lot of lectures; I just couldn't hack going in after being out til 5am drinking. This trimester, I have been out once, on a Sunday, which is good because I don't have lessons on a Monday.

It's bugging me though. I mean, I have to attend these classes, to be able to write the notes, which I will revise from later, to get my grade this year, no matter how small it is. I'd rather get the grades than have to pass my summer writing a paper on it all. But, it's cutting in on my 'social hours'. Most people in the "World of Work" would call them unsociable hours, but from 10pm til the early morning, Pavia is most alive with people I want to spend time with.

I know, I know. I could just say "Fuck this for a game of soldiers" and go out, enjoy myself, read the articles for non-frequenti, and quit my moaning. Thing is, that's harder work than just sitting indoors and attempting to read about the phonological to phonetic changes in transcription, or the design of a 12th century Lombard basilica. But, by not going out I'm alienating myself from the people I like the most here -- the Erasmus people. I'm also letting my Italian slip as I spend more time talking to friends back home while attempting, and failing, to open a book to study.

I guess this is a bit of a downer for anyone who came here expecting to read of my epic exploits in Italy, where I travel and have fun, and get blindingly drunk, and we all laugh at it later. In fact, were my glasses not broken, and I had a bowl of crisps (chips) then this post would definitely fit the criteria given on Thursday of coming home, writing a blog nobody cares about, but thinking it's very important.

Anyhow: Where did this extra long, extra-sucky rant come from? Well, I went into Uni today just for the whole "I should study" idea. I bumped into an Italian friend, Signor Gigio, and was asked if I was going to the beer contest tomorrow night. I declined, and then felt like I was turning down something that I didn't have to participate in, which is silly. So, it got stuck in my head that I came across as totally antisocial and an ass, so I just grabbed a coffee and left. Weird reaction, I know; but when you've been a bag of suck for the last three-or-four weeks... The word that sums it up is: Ergh.

Today's post was brought to you by the letter Y, and the number √-1.

Crushing Blows

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Wednesday, 17 November 2010 at 16:33

Like what I did with the title? No? Well, you haven't read this yet, so you probably don't get it. This isn't so much a blog, as an opinion piece. If it bores you, sorry. I was going to include my rant that Terry Gilliam makes everything he touches turn to shit, but it doesn't work when it's not 'spur of the moment', so you just get this little...thing:

Dear Internet,

Don't you hate it when you get a crush on someone but you never know if they like you? I'd like to explain the way crushes work for me. I like to think of it on a Donald Rumsfeld scale of knowledge, thereby creating three types of crushes (There are actually four, but the fourth is so rare it hardly counts). They are:

Unknown Knowns -- The crushes you get on the street. You see someone and you think "They're actually my type, superficially. I wish I knew them more" and then you forget all about them and move on because you don't know them, and assume they'll freak out. They are Unknown to you, but you presume that their feelings towards you are known.

Unknown Unknowns -- These can both be people on the street, or acquaintences. You don't have a brilliant friendship going, but you still like them enough to pluck up the courage to say something. In essence, they are unknown to you, and as their feelings are unknown you'd like to delve deeper.

Known Unknowns -- The most common type of crush, where you crush on your best friend (or a member of your friend circle). The result is that they are already known to you, but their feelings are always hidden, or unknown. Griffiths' Law of Curiosity, that is "Curiosity usually, if not always, tends towards the murder of felines," makes it a dead cert that at some point you will inevitably "kill the cat" and ask what they think of you.

Known Knowns -- The rarest type of crush. Rarer than hens' teeth. This is the type of person who is already known to you, but it's also bloody obvious (known) that they like you as more than a friend. When these crop up; pounce!

Now, where am I going with this? Well, that's just it: I'm not going anywhere. I'm just making the point that having a crush sucks. Here comes the part where you can get all mushy and soppy with me, or you can switch off. Fair warning? Let's go then:

This isn't an out of the blue thing. I've been having crush conversations with people for a while, but I feel I don't reciprocate, so I'll admit here to having had three crushes in my time in Pavia. One has been a Known Unknown for some time, one is still an Unknown Unknown, and one has recently hit the status of Known Unknown, though I'd say she started as an Unknown Unknown. Thing is, I'm a massive [insert pejorative here] who doesn't have the balls/chutzpah/cojones to make a decision, and to take the leap into the unknown. I've probably missed out on a hell of a lot of rejections in the past few years; and probably some acceptances too. Couple that with the fact that no girl in their right mind asks the guy, and I'm stuck in a perpetual limbo where my crushes just pass me by and I never tell them.

It's not like I'm now going to say "Crush #1, you are....[name]", so, sorry to disappoint. I'm just making the point that I have 'Pavia Crushes'. Maybe it's my way of feeling like I'm getting it 'off my chest', without actually ruining any friendships, and my way of saying "Look, if you like me -- if I am your (Un)Known Unknown -- just ask me already. You may be surprised." -- this goes for anyone, not just people in Pavia.

I'm just fed up of the onus always being on the male to make the leap. Why can't it be down to the girl once in a while? That is all. Here is a song:

[[God, I love a bit of Swing-Hop in the afternoon -- and have no doubt posted this very song further back in the blog...]]

Link (noun): Not Just a Video Game Hero

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 15 November 2010 at 11:38

So, on the one hand I have been single for just over a year now. Say it with me: Awwwwwwww! But, on the other hand, I'm living in Italy, so who gives a flying ****?

It's Monday, and not a lot has happened since I last blogged, in all honesty. I believe I went to buy a book last week, and was told it has been out of print for a while. The conversation basically ran:
"Hi, I'm looking for Parini's Odes, edited by Dante Isella..."
"Okay, let me have a look" *typing* *waiting* "Well, that's been out of print for a while, I'll find you another if you like..."
"Can you try Stefano Carai?"
*typing* *waiting* "Carai isn't in stock, but there's one by Tatti...which is in the Bookstore of the University of Trento. I can order that for you, if you'd like?"
"Nah, I'm good. Can you recommend me another one?"
"Well, who's your professor? Cremante, right?"
"Welcome to Pavia...." (said in the most knowing fashion, before selling me a €13 book that is mostly poems I don't need, when he could have just sold me the cheaper Odes, without the Il Giorno cycle included...)

In fact from that point on, I was unable to buy any book recommended to me. In fact, it's almost as if they sell out of these books in the first trimester, before the profs even recommend their favourites! (At this point, it would be worth noting I changed my spell-checker back from Italian to English as I didn't trust my spelling of 'recommend'. Huzzah for my English gradually failing me.)

What else has been done in the last six days since that really, really, really pointless list blog? Actually not much at all. I've drunk more coffee than is probably healthy, I've bought an Italian audiobook of Dante's Commedia, just so I don't waste my time pausing on words to get the pronunciation right, I've finished reading High Fidelity (best book ever, in the trashy Romance genre anyway), and have started reading The Castle of Crossed Destinies which is what I assume the Canterbury Tales would be like if told through Tarot Cards.

As of today there are five weeks remaining of my 2010 Italy sojourn. I get a lot of questions about "When are you back?" so I shall just state for the record: 22nd December I fly back, but I'll probably arrive so late home that I may as well say 23rd. I am home until January 4th, and am flying back January 5th at lunchtime. The silly thing is: January 6th is Epiphany. If anything is running in Italy that day, I'll be surprised. Beyond that, things worth mentioning:
1. I expect plenty of Christmas-time escapades. I'm only really back for a week-and-a-bit, ya dig. I need you to make me think that coming home for more than just Christmas was a worthwhile idea.
2. I'm trying to get people to come out for my six days off in December. If you stay in Milan, you could get a nice, cheap hotel (€40 a night?) and get the nice, cheap train to Pavia (it's literally like €3). No, I'm serious. Do it. Otherwise, I'll be spending those six days in Tuscany -- staying in Florence, doing a day in Siena, coming back via Pisa. It'll be annoying spending six hours on trains just to get to Florence for €15, but that's the price I'd have to pay (literally and metaphorically)
3. Forbidden Planet = best place for useless crap. Just look at all the potential Scott Pilgrim nonsense I could own! I'm determined to have a roller-skating Ramona and a t-shirt that says "Let's Make Out" though. I love my pointless to-the-point t-shirts. It'll go well with my "If you can read this, it's dark and you should kiss me" glow-in-the-dark failure t-shirt.
4. NaNoWriMo is back up and running, at a snail's pace. I'm at 8500 words. NaNo Stats estimates I will reach 50000 in January at this rate; that's not good for the NaNo front, but it's good for the story front as I can just take my sweet time. So far, it sounds terrible, but who cares; it's not like I'm going to suddenly become a published author overnight, right?
5. I have discovered the written exam for Linguistics is actually quite difficult. Not because of the points it makes, but because it's in Italian. The thought of asking the Professor if we Erasmus could use a dictionary is silly, because what dictionary doesn't contain phonetic spellings that could help us cheat!? I may just have to book an appointment with her at some point, just to allay some fears that I'm not going to suck at it. Curious about it? Here's the .pdf

And on that note, I really have to get off my behind, now, and go into town. I feel like I'm going to get no studying done with this laptop on, so I'll head to the café, have my lunch in the company of Francesco and Savino, and then go sit in the University bar for two hours or so, trying to plough through a bit of Dante, or some Linguistics. I really don't know.

Me, in Lists

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 18:21

Okay, so this post follows on from a conversation held between Roxane, Rebecca and I. I guess I thought it appropriate to fill in the blanks from earlier, and to just give an all-round view of me for those of you who read this, but haven’t known me all that long. In short, it’s going to be a lot of Top 5 lists which will range from “Top Five Films” to “Top Five Celebrity Crushes,” all with the aim of giving you a better perspective, a look at what makes me tick. Things I feel should be seen/heard/understood are linked. So, let’s go:

Top Five Films

In order:
1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
2. Dead Man
3. Twenty-Four Hour Party People
4. My Neighbour Totoro
5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Top Five Works of Fiction

In order:
1. Fiesta, Sun Also Rises
2. Invisible Cities
3. The Great Gatsby
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
5. Love in the Time of Cholera

Top Five Non-Fiction

1. Helter Skelter, the True Story of the Manson Murders
2. Stupid White Men
3. Who Killed Marten Hannett? The Story of Factory Records’ Musical Magician

(I actually don’t read enough non-fiction to warrant this at all…)

Five Bands I am Currently Listening to

1. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby
2. Anamanaguchi
3. Caparezza
4. From Monument to Masses
5. Explosions in the Sky

Five Bands I think You should listen to

1. Explosions in the Sky
2. Ratatat
3. The Shins
4. The Decemberists
5. Belle & Sebastian

Top Five Bands of All-Time

1. Adam and the Ants
2. Duran Duran
3. Bright Eyes
4. Daft Punk
5. The Eagles

Top Five Celebrity Crushes (Female)

1. Lauren Laverne
2. Natalie Portman
3. Karen Gillan
4. Siouxsie Sioux (hey, for a 50-something she’s still good-looking)
5. Melissa auf der Maur

Top Five Celebrity Man-Crushes

1. Kevin Spacey
2. Early 90s Richard Gere
3. Johnny Depp pre-Pirates, post-Scissorhands (i.e. in Blow, Fear and Loathing, Ed Wood etc)
4. Sean Connery 
5. Zach Braff

Top Five Languages (Because I find some nicer than others)

1. Italian
2. Catalan
3. Finnish
4. Icelandic
5. Dutch

Top Five Places in the World (so far)

1. Artà, Mallorca
2. Venice, Italy
3. Pavia, Italy
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Walt Disney World, Kissimmee, Florida

Just so this doesn’t end with a list, I thought I’d just give me a nice pretentious musical profile, to clear up any doubts:

I was brought up listening to the Eagles, country music, and 80s pop stars. Like every child of the 90s, I went through a phase of liking all the pop music available, from B*Witched to STEPS, before finally being pulled away from Britney and Michael Jackson to Eminem. I was never really that into his music, I guess I was only along for the ride. From there, I guess I started trying to outdo people, to ‘stay cool’, so when I met someone who said they liked Alice Cooper, I tried to one up them by saying I liked Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath (having never listened to either before) – within a few weeks, I owned their greatest hits, as well as a Rob Zombie album, because it had a nice psychedelic cover.

For the next few years, I bounced between the tame (Marilyn Manson, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus) and the extreme (Satyricon, Opera XIII, Hypocrisy etc) in the hopes of being taken seriously, and looked upon less as a mall-goth and more as a ‘real goth’. During that time I attended my first real gig, Slayer’s Unholy Alliance Tour (Hatebreed, Mastodon, Slipknot and Slayer), but didn’t get my first taste of moshing probably until Taste of Chaos 2005, when I got punched square in the face by a girl. From then on, any moshing was done in the style of “get from an edge to an edge quickly” – though, within a year I’d moved on to bigger and better things.

2006 was when I grew out of being such a narrow-minded fool. I discovered Mercury Rev, Explosions in the Sky, Animal Collective, The Decemberists, and a host of other groups. This opened my eyes to the fact that chugging riffs weren’t everything. Within a year or two I was listening to Justice, Daft Punk, The Knife, Klaxons, CSS, and all that was vaguely electronic, but I still kept my old musical tastes. Four years later, having stumbled blindly through Dubstep, Dancehall, Grime, Hip-Hop, Blues, Rock n Roll (and so on),  I think the only genre I have yet to explore is jazz – with the exception of Kenny G’s The Moment (which is as far from Jazz as Britney is from being a hardcore punk…in the literal sense, because we all know Britney is “p.u.n.x. 4 lyf yo”)

I try to avoid reading Pitchfork and the NME as much as possible, and pretty much take my musical recommendations from those outlets I trust: Leigh, Jake, and Metacritic. Serves me right for being, despite my protestations to the contrary, so closed-minded and pretentious when it comes to my musical habits. And if you don’t look at me now and think “My God, he’s an ass” then we may just get along for a long time…

(Any questions, other lists you want from me, ask away. Maybe next time “The story of how I became such an ass”)

Ymmärrättekö suomea?

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Monday, 8 November 2010 at 19:54

It’s rare that I have the urge to blog about nothing. Usually I at least hope I have something say, but today’s blog is just rambling nonsense I guess:

1. NaNoWriMo is going…terribly. I managed 3500 words on my Venice round trip, which is pretty good. But, I should be at 11667 words right now. I am currently at 3500 words, and I’ve run out of steam already. Perhaps I should just throw in the towel; I actually feel like it’s getting nowhere. Oh well. Chalk that up to another life failure?

2. Last night I went out with my American chums, and I think I figured out I much prefer the San Francisco attitude to any other one in the world – I know, I am stereotyping the four people I now know from San Francisco as the archetypal San Franciscans. I guess in a way this is a shout-out – a holla, if you will – to them, perhaps? (Even if I did probably act like a pretentious ass trying to explain that Frank Turner was once an amazing ‘unknown’ artist and that the NME, like everything they ever touch, ruined my enjoyment of him by thrusting him at the fair-weather fans…)

3. I think I’ve been accepted as a local, or at the very least a regular, by the baristas of Chocolate Café! I rolled up at lunch time to grab a sandwich before going for a bit of study time, and was greeted with a general interest in my weekend, my trip to Venice, and other such niceties. In fact, when I got up to pay, they looked rather saddened that I was leaving. In short: I love Francesco and Savino. Tomorrow, I shall get up early just to get a brioche from there before History of Art!

4. New semester. Lessons start at 9am tomorrow. I will go to them all; I will. I need to pass these exams, so I need to buy the books; I also need to maybe go and see the profs and ask them for their input on what’s actually expected. So “not with it” in terms of this whole thing, but there we go. Only another six weeks and classes will be over and I’ll actually have to panic about passing these exams. Life would be so much easier if we still had the Year Abroad projects to write…

5. In languages: I need to get back to attempting to learn Finnish. I stopped back when I stopped Icelandic, in May or so, and just carried on listening to Finnish music. However, I think I should put the effort in, because it’d be a nice input –> output experiment, or “hard work” –> “sense of satisfaction.”  Getting the sounds to stick in my head would be a nice start, and then I can seriously consider going further than “Hyvää huomenta.”
I’d also like to sit down and study a bit of Venetian, but that’s quite a different beast because there don’t seem to be many texts on it. My obsession with languages: el xe senpre pi grande, as they say in the Veneto. Give me a few  weeks, I might be on top of it all.

Apart from this ramble, nothing exciting is going on. Oh well. Until we meet again, dear reader.

Anonimo Veneziano

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 16:26

Thanks to the wonders of TrenItalia’s Eurostar Frecciabianca service, I am writing this blog from the comfort of a 2nd class carriage direct from Venice to Milan. Since I can’t work the internet connection, it’s really only being drafted on the way, but, it’s better than rushing it when I get home! Oh, yes, you may have picked up on the word Venice being thrown around…let me bring you up to speed:
On a spur-of-the-moment last-minute decision, I hopped on a train and headed to Venice, La Serenissima. Four hours of travelling, and I turned up at the station, in the dark. Outside the train station are three (or four) stations for the traghetto, or water bus, which would have taken me to my destination – Hotel Belle Arti, Dorsoduro -- in less than 20 minutes. Not having a clue, and seeing that the line for tickets was extremely long, I opted to walk – after all “Venice can’t be that big”
Problem Number One – Venice isn’t just big, it’s spread out over multiple islands, and all of its streets are winding and confusing. That’s just in the daytime. When you get to 6.40pm, on a winter’s night, it becomes a completely different animal – from a rather fetching poodle, to a wolf that potentially has lasers for eyes. I would later find out that it’s so much easier to just get a traghetto from A to B than try to follow the yellow signs that point to landmarks, day or night.
So, I had the fun of walking down dark alleyways, over multiple canals, and in every direction of the compass. I knew my lodgings were in Dorsoduro, which is in the south-west of Venice, and I knew the station is in the north-west of Venice. Simple logic says “Head out of the station, turn right, then turn left, then head straight until you find your street name” – that would work on a nice grid plan. Here, nothing like that ever works. I ended up in San Polo, which is in the dead centre of the city, with signs pointing me back to the station and to San Marco, but none pointing me in the direction of Accademia, the nearest landmark to my final destination.
Let me remind you: it’s twenty minutes via traghetto from Ferroviaria to Accademia. I left the station (Ferroviaria) at about 6.45. I didn’t arrive at Accademia until gone 7.30. Still, on turning up, I was pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, nowhere in Venice is cheap and I have an unfounded fear of hostels – so, I had booked into a hotel, and paid €65 for the privilege of having a bathroom in the room. Despite bemoaning this, it was well worth the price! The bathroom seemed very modern, and the room was the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever stayed in – breakfast didn’t live up to my standards, but that’s what you get for thinking it starts at 8am, when really it started at 7am and all the Germans had been up since 5am, with their shared bathrooms, swooped down on the breakfast room, taken the fresh brioches, leaving me with the staler ones.
I’ve neglected to mention that my bit of night-time exploring left me slightly scared – strange city, all alone, and very few people on the streets, so I returned to my room and hit the hay. Saturday, I managed to get out of bed very early, eat, and check-out by 8.30 – I walked, again due to my stupidity, but I guess that was also due to following the advice given to me by the internet: “Don’t use a map; get lost in the streets of Venice” – and I’m glad I did. Foggy though it was, it was quite romantic to be wandering the half-empty streets, the fog making everything look that little bit more tragic. I actually felt like I’d found the perfect place in Italy; a place I would gladly come back to and call ‘home’.
Then the fog lifted, and everything went to pot. The piazzas filled with tourists, either German, Spanish or Sino-Japanese it seemed, all snapping photos and getting in my bloody way; the traghetti, which I figured out how to use-and-abuse, were rammed full of people all day – whether I was going in one direction, or in the other, along the Grand Canal, to the Lido, away from, or towards Piazza San Marco – the couples came out of the woodwork, and everyone suddenly forgot how to speak Italian. Here come my other two problems:
1. Nobody would speak to me in Italian. The receptionist in my second hotel decided to only speak to me in English, even when I refused to reply in English. Even when I stopped off for a caffè, the barista only spoke to me in English. For once in my life, I was actually pissed off that people were speaking my language – I honestly thought it was as bad as we Angolophones who insist on speaking our own language in foreign countries. Annoyed me senseless for a good half an hour, I tell you!!
2. All the couples came out. Whether I was on a boat, on dry land; on top of a church, or out on the streets, they were there in their thousands. It was either young couples who stood right next to me and chewed each others faces off, or old couples who were all gooey without actually showing it. I guess I should have expected it, what with Venice’s reputation preceding it, but I didn’t expect it to get to me – the first 24 hours, I just rolled my eyes and got on with it. Then I saw the Rialto all lit up, and the couples around it being all lovey, and sharing candle-lit dinners on the Grand Canal. Like being punched in the stomach, I tell thee. But, enough of my whining!!
Second night. Different hotel. My first one was in Dorsoduro, and was a slice of under-priced luxury. The second one was…well, different. I was in Canareggio, right next to a traghetto stop that goes right to the station, paying €45 for my stay – and that included breakfast, and a bathroom. The room itself was quaint, and was apparently the oldest one in the building. I’m not complaining; it was pretty good for a 1* hotel; and cheap in terms of what you get in Venice. It was probably more expensive than a hostel, but…it came equipped bathroom, even if that bathroom was in an “under stairs cupboard”. All I care about: My own private bathroom.
My last day was spent riding the waterways, and making sure I saw everything I needed to. Little did I know, for example, that the Chiesa dei Frari, was actually behind the Traghetto stop at San Tomà. I mean, I spent a lot of time wandering San Polo looking for it, when I could have just got off at one of the water-bus stops. Just my luck really. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were one too many tourists for my liking, and, just like me, they called everyone else ‘tourist’ – even at 9am on the Grand Canal there were loud, brash Americans decrying the state of the Traghetti in the mornings when “Everyone is going to San Marco” (FYI, the examples in question got on at San Marco…I left them at San Tomà, thankfully…)
Now to the most important point:

Did I enjoy Venice? Was it worth it? Well, in a word, yes. I think everyone should see it once, maybe even spend more time here than I did, see the museums and wander the streets just for funsies. As a city, without the tourists, it is perhaps one of the most beautiful and (in the fog) hauntingly romantic cities in the world. Add in the hundreds upon thousands of tourists, and, for someone like me who likes to rush about from point to point, not spend every waking second staring in shop windows at things I can’t afford, and generally just seeing the sights…and maybe not so much. There are some gems here – Via Garibaldi (and the surrounding Calles) in the Castello district is Venice, without the tourists; it is the real Venetians, going about their lives, and was probably one of the few moments that brought me back to reality after being surrounded by beautiful buildings and too many snap-happy travellers.
Will I come back? Yes. Would I like company next time? Most definitely.
(You may notice, unlike other blogs, that this lacks general photographic accompaniment. I didn’t forget to take photos; I didn’t forget to post them. Pictures will eventually be found on my flickr, just because I’d like to ‘free up space’ in these travel blogs)