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Leatherstocking On The Rialto

February 2024
1min read

I really enjoyed “America’s Venice,” especially because Lukacs describes the way I first saw Venice: via Chioggia. But I have to say his description of the boat ride is a bit different from the one my traveling companion and I had. We were camping around Italy (an experience in and of itself), and Chioggia has a camping area, so it was an ideal way to get to Venice. Also, Chioggia is a charming place (a little Venice is exactly what we thought). Anyway, we set up our tent and the next morning got on a boat to Venice. It sails along for a while. Then it stops, and we all get out to board a bus. The bus goes along for a while. Then the bus gets on a ferry. The ferry sails along for a while and finally docks. The bus drives off and goes along until finally we are at the Lido, where, at last, we board a vaporetto and head to Venice and the pier at St. Mark’s. And it’s true, the cafés are overpriced, but as I was sitting at an outside table, nursing an espresso at a café, an espresso that was easily two, no, three times more expensive than in any other part of Italy, I thought, “But for heaven’s sake, you’re sitting in this glorious piazza, burnished by time, unchanged for centuries, a living Canaletto painting, and you’re gonna whine about overpriced coffee?”

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