Wing and the Wheel

Nancy Flynn Stream of Consciousness Archive, Travel

A pigeon just flew past our open living room window. Earlier today I saw one emerge from the front door of a cafe along a narrow calle behind the swank Grand Canal hotels.  Friday must be changing-of-the-tourist-guard at Ca’ Rezzonico, the B&B next door, because the sound of wheeled luggage on the stones of the fondamenta has been the soundtrack clatter as we recover from today’s outing (and 7+ miles of walking and art-viewing), as I rested and read a novel on the couch.

Clouds have appeared to cover today’s cielo azzuro, to inch the thermometer down, make it almost too chilly to have the shutters and windows open, the fresh (mostly) air lifting up from the Rio de San Barnaba canal. Today our paths to and from the Correr Museum took us through the Campi of San Maurizio and San Moise, past the high-end retail of Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Ferragamo—I’m so out of it anymore I don’t even know the names of all the fashion houses. What I did notice is that fashion has definitely co-opted (it’s been going on for some time I guess) the hippie style that those of us of a certain age felt we invented, out of ease and practicality, 35 or 40 years ago. What goes around comes around but, increasingly, seems to be tied to turning every damn thing into a marketable commodity, taking anything that would reflect an individual’s elan, esprit, sense of color and zest and life, and selling it until it becomes banal and a fad. Now I really sound cranky and middle-aged. Maybe I’m mostly unhappy I can’t fit into all the skinny, skimpy fashions? Meanwhile, many of the locals, the Venetian women of all ages—shopkeepers, professoressas, studenti, etc.—look very stunning when they are out and about.

It’s almost Friday night and there is jazz at the Jazz Club across the street but  I’ll be amazed if I can keep my eyes open past 9 pm. This is one of the downsides of being middle-aged and trying to be in a tourist a-go-go mode day in and out. The need for naps and regular meals catches up with one. Well, at least me.

As we wandered through the Campo San Maurizio ceramics fair (pottery here similar to what we find at the Oregon Country Fair—amateur) to and from the Correr, we passed plaques that commemorated the visit, the brief stay, the passing through of Dante, Goethe, and Mozart. Fancy markers, chiseled and secured high into the wall above a bridge or along a canal in Mozart’s case.

The public domain image above is a painting by Ettore Tito entitled “A Breezy Day in Venice” and is from the 1890s.

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