steven varni

Crimes of the Heart, Accademia Bridge, Venice, Italian Culture, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Crimes of the Heart on the Accademia Bridge

Everyone knows that people on vacation, let loose from the rigors of their daily lives and desperate for a good time, are prone to do some pretty...
practical pleasures, venice,  italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Practical Pleasures in a City Famous for Artistic Ones

When it came time to buy our Christmas tree this year, we once again had to do so without the use of a boat, which my six-year-old son, Sandro, who...
Are some languages inherently more social than others? Sandro and friend walk home from school in Venice

Ten Keys to Learning a Language

Soon after starting an Italian-English language exchange with a young Venetian here I made the bold assertion that there are ten essential words or...
Santiago Calatrava’s Ponte della Costituzione over the western end of the Grand Canal

Calatrava’s Troubled Bridge Over Water

When part of the Biblioteca Marciana, across the piazzetta from the Doge’s Palace, collapsed during its construction in 1538 its architect, the...
Venetians returning home on a late Sunday afternoon this summer

The Secret Life of Venetians

When I made my first poorly-planned and short-lived attempt at the age of 26 to live in Venice in the early 1990s, I thought of it as the ultimate...
A Burano lace collar from the 1870s

Burano Lace: The End of the Line?

One of the first things my Venetian friend, whom I’ll call “A”, said to me when I met him two years ago in his father’s lace showroom near Piazza San...
Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Bragora

Party like a Venetian: Summer Celebrations in the City

Pay even the briefest visit to Piazza San Marco around noon these days and you’ll instantly discover, or be reminded of, why seasoned travelers have...
Tourists loved “Boy with a Frog,” but Venetians never developed a taste for it

The Use and Abuse of Venice’s Most Famous Sites

Venetians are angry lately, and in a city in which the number of tourists on any given day is greater than the number of residents, their anger is...
A caorlina in its final resting place in Venice’s North Lagoon

A Tune and a Taste of Times Gone By

Since the end of its republic, Venice has been a favorite spot for both upper-case Romantics (such as Lord Byron and Percy Shelley) and lower-case...
Extraordinarily high tides near Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio (photo credit: Jen Varni)

The dirty truth about Venice’s canals

Talk long enough to anyone who has worked in the Venetian hospitality industry and he or she will inevitably get around to mentioning (with a roll of...