Author: Alice

venice lagoon

14 March

I should really be writing about natural health supplements, but I’m sitting outside a cafe with a coffee and a soft breeze in my hair, and spring is here (!) so the Ashwagandha can wait. Let me just set the scene, for future senile Alice if nobody else. A few floors up a caged song bird sings. It chirps all day, every day (even in the depths of winter the cheering song could be heard whistling through Salizada S.Antonin), but today it does so with gusto. Then there’s gush and whirl of the milk frother, the clatter of teaspoons on cutlery and saucers placed down on marble counter tops. And in the street, the manager Anna laughs with a group of women. Every sentence bulleted with ‘amore’ and ‘tesoro’ and probably even more Venetian terms of endearment that I’m deaf to. Now there’s the clatter of the bin men, trundling past with their heavy carts. It’s recycling day today, and they pack away flattened pizza boxes with such good humour that you’d never have guessed Read More

snow in the giardini venice

How to spend a snowy morning in Venice

I have found the best place to enjoy the snow in Venice, quite by accident. You must go to the Giardini at 10am. The path through the park will be fairly untroubled by footprints and the snowflakes falling from the trees will dance under the sun (or perhaps it will still be snowing – that’s even better). If you pass the fresh fish stall on Via Garibaldi and enter the park from there, you will soon come to a place selling flowers on trestle tables – it will look like a workshop, and you might expect to see a bare allotment nearby. But then you’ll see the glint of a greenhouse from behind a hedge – or perhaps it’s better described as an orangery. Anyway, a sign will tell you that it is the Serra dei Giardini. You will notice the potted lemon trees outside, the puckered fruit frosted with ice. And then, if you’re really lucky, you will hear music as you walk towards the entrance. If you are more cultured than I am, you’d Read More

cicchetti at timon

The things I haven’t done

There are many things I haven’t done in Venice. Here are just a few: I haven’t written a novel My Italian is horrible My Venetian friends are nonexistent I haven’t ever managed to wake up early enough to go for a run at dawn These were all on my to-do list, but luckily I don’t really mind the fact that they remain unticked. Partly because a lot of these things don’t actually matter, but mostly because I’ve decided to give myself a break. No, I haven’t finished a novel, but I’m writing more than I ever used to. Everyday in fact – things that will never be published but that fulfil this hunger to record and to read back. My Italian might still be terrible but I’m having lessons and getting a little better everyday – no mean feat in a city that has no time for stumbling learners. As an unexpected bonus we’ve also come to appreciate the less-than dulcet tones of Venetian, and that’s something in itself. And while most of Venice treats Read More