Letter From Venezia

Carnevale, Venice, cult of confetti, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Carnevale and the cult of confetti

Childhood is in the details. Perhaps this is obvious, I don’t know. But it occurred to me recently that as much as we adults might, in depicting...
Violin maker, Venice, Italian artisanship, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

The music of time: A violin maker and son in Venice

It’s easy to be completely overwhelmed by the spectacle of Venice. For nearly a thousand years people have been describing it as nothing less than a...
Italian and American playgrounds, Venice Lagoon, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Rings over the abyss: On differences between Italian and American playgrounds

The unveiling at the end of this summer of a large new piece of playground equipment in the park on Sant’Elena where Angelina and Brad used to take...
Venice Lagoon, Big Ships, Big Controversy, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Big Ships, Big Controversy

It was the best of decisions. It was the worst of decisions. It was, if you believe Italy’s Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, a triumph for the city...
Venetian Life, Remiera Francescana, Venice, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Launching Into Venetian Life

“I must count as half-lost the year I spent in Venice before I took a house upon the Grand Canal ,” wrote the once-influential American writer and...
Declarations of Independence, Venice, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Declarations of Independence in the Venetian lagoon

“Hey, bub, how’d you like to buy an island in the Venetian lagoon for 99 euros?” At a half dozen locations around Venice these days this is the...
Venezia, acqua alta, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

A Most Delicate Balance, protecting the Venetian lagoon

The image of a gondola has for over a century been synonymous not only with Venice, but with European tourism in general. None of the continent’s...
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...