We are alone again, all our friends from Paris gone back and the rain over for a few days. We haven't been doing much sightseeing as such, rather wandering around, stopping for coffee or a spritz, watching parents bringing their children home from school, chatting to friends they meet in the campo.
We who go everywhere in cars no longer have the experience of running into our neighbors in the street, of knowing what time the old lady across the way goes out to do her shopping, and of being part of the fabric of a neighborhood. Certainly privacy and the nuclear family experience have its advantages but we've lost something we may not even have known we had. In Venice it's definitely still here.
We did drop into the Accademia for an hour to see some of the collection. There was no line for tickets and the galleries were nearly empty. When we had looked in on the weekend it was jammed, with dozens of people waiting to buy tickets. Lesson for the future, avoid Venice on the weekend if possible.
There is not much in the way of street performers, just one fellow who plays music on drinking glasses who moves from one tourist passage to another, but yesterday we heard some lovely music up ahead and found this fellow swinging on the top of the wellhead in Campo San Barnaba. He was very good.
We found ourselves on the Zattere for lunch, with a wonderful view across to Giudecca and boats of all sizes going by. Someone had recommended Ristorante Riviera to us and there it was so we sat down under the umbrellas on the dock and had a delicious lunch of poached sous vide egg on tiny thin asparagus, two kinds of seafood pasta and pieces of grilled beef with vegetables. Do you realize how difficult it is to get vegetables in a Venetian restaurant?!
We're ready to leave Venice and head to Sicily but we have another two days here. I think we'll take a boat out to Burano today and explore among the pastel painted houses and shops selling lace made in China.