In January, Venice is a peach.
The velvet skin of her buildings – oversaturated in the glare of summer – blushes now in this hazy light. For the most part, she is the yellow kind, her plaster blooming with red, cream, ochre, that where chipped and peeled reveals the flesh of the fruit. There are bruises too, that from afar could be mistaken for shadow.
But sometimes Venice is a white peach, like in the campi at three o’clock when stark churches begin to yield to January’s haze. Their walls soften, and the pearl-like light casts shadows of pink and quietens the darkness from their door. Here it is like the fruits are ripening, and soon spring will tease the nectar from them and we will bask in those sweet Venetian afternoons once more.
On days like this, wrap up warm and walk to Fondamenta dei Ormesini in Cannaregio. The best bars (Al Timon, Paradiso Perduto, Birreria Zanon) will be stirring from their January holidays by now, and in the early afternoon the light will give Venice to you as a peach – the yellow kind. For the white sort, walk 10 minutes to Campo Dei Gesuiti. The church there is quite beautiful, and beyond it you will find the northern lagoon and the Dolomites, which are sacred at any time of day.