Venice, Italy

In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own

In July 2007, I visited Venice, Italy to see firsthand a city that is on its way to becoming the most iconic in history, as well as the most iconic city in Europe. Since I was there in July and that’s exactly when the weather was warm, I took the opportunity to walk the city’s famous canals and take a walk on its famous Piazzas.

To me, my first impressions on exploring a European city on foot, were made on a sunny Saturday morning. When I boarded the train and walked along the busy Canal Grande, it felt as if I was going to a theme park and I got a kick out of that. The city is so small, you can walk along any of its many canals without even leaving the Grand Canal.

Once you cross the Lido Bridge, you get a view of Venice’s famous Golden Gate Bridge and from where you can see the iconic dome of St. Mark’s Basilica. Even the old city center itself doesn’t take up that much space, so you can get lost wandering along the narrow cobblestone streets.

You have to take a tram up to the hilltop, and then from there walk down to another Piazza. By the time you descend from that viewpoint, you’ve seen the main sights of the city and you’re looking for a small restaurant. I found it on the top floor of a five storey building.

My order, however, was not what I thought.

My first impression upon entering the restaurant was the very sight of the decor. It looked like it was taken from the 1920’s. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. It was a very, very Italian restaurant. It featured a lot of wood panelling that was on the walls and was everywhere. Everything was white, from the tablecloths to the napkins.

You could look at the plates, then go back to eating. You could look at the plates again, then move on with your meal. The waitresses were dressed in white or very little – very little – but still, their dresses were all of the same color – white. The napkins were white as well.

I ate a simple pasta dish and a salad with a single red pepper. I also ordered an

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