All posts filed under: Life

15 December

There are so many things to tell you about our life here in Venice. The things we’ve done, the things we do, the thing’s we’re planning. The wonderful food we’ve eaten, and the gentle rhythms of Venetian life. I could begin by telling you about how on a Friday we sometimes buy a bottle of red wine and stow away plastic cups in my bag, then head out into the night, refilling the cups in the darkness of an empty calle. Then about the pizza (tuna and onion, always) that we eat in the silent Campo Bandiera e Moro, before walking along the belly of the fish towards the gilded midnight light of St Mark’s Square. And a few weeks ago I meant to write about the Festa della Salute – a celebration of the end of a 17th century plague, that today is marked with a pilgrimage to the Salute church and a steaming bowl of castradina. On that bright Tuesday in November, I crossed the purpose-made pontoon to the basilica, lit a candle, said Read More

Coffee: A Journey

Dom’s three-part treatise on coffee is the latest post in our Stories From The Table section – a place where we explore memories, cultural vignettes, and anthropological musings on eating and drinking.  I’ve not been a coffee drinker for very long, but I have had a respect for (and possibly a little fear of) it for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I revered coffee as one of those mysterious “adult flavours” (read as bitter). A taste for it indicated the presence of a developed palate. So when the time came for me to leave home for university, I felt somewhat incomplete. I’d developed a fondness for all the things that, as a child, I’d watched adults devour, and had been anxiously waiting to be able to enjoy myself; the salty bitterness of olives, the sharp tang of feta cheese, the peculiar texture of a cooked mushroom, and even whisky (my first experience of whisky having been a capful of Bell’s in a cup of milky tea, offered to me by my grandfather, Read More

5 November

Michelle Lovric explains that to write about Venice is to seek new ways to describe the effect of water on marble. Sitting at a desk in Castello, a small canal just below the window – stone, wood and marble resting on the water’s lip – I’d be inclined to agree. Except there’s a little more to it than that. On a Sunday morning, there’s the effect of 128 church bells on the clustered life of six sestieri. Right now, the bells are best described as the sound of fireworks on Bonfire Night. Loud and convincing, then quiet and distant; when they peal from the furthest reaches of Castello, their echo merely ripples the November gloom. Perhaps on a sunny day it will be different. Then there’s light on Venetian plasterwork. The saturation shifting with the afternoon sun: gilded at twilight; drab and dirty on a white-washed morning like this. And of course the effect of fog, rain, ice, the aqua alta sirens, but we’ve yet to experience those. Writing about Venice – properly I mean Read More