Tag: 9/11

“Venice Never Changes”

“Venice Never Changes”

“Venice Never Changes,” Samantha Durell replied in response to my observation that compared to other Italian cities, such as Florence or Rome, the famous city of canals on the Adriatic Sea looked like a down-at-the-heels in-desperate-need-of-a-cobbler “repair job” to the fading facades of its houses and palazzos.

What Venetians meant, she said, is “We like it the way it is,” which I took as a sort of “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” attitude toward their rather dowdy looking hometown.

If your house is about to collapse into a canal, the city would make you rebuild it, but otherwise, it would remain the same.

It was the third week of September, 2001, and my wife and I were on a walking tour with Durell, a New Yorker who now spent most of her time living in Venice, leading tourists like us around the back streets of her adopted city.

Some things had already started to change. While we had coffee at her apartment, Samantha pointed to boats on the adjacent canal. Unable to afford their own places due to rising real estate values, younger Venetians were forced to continue living with their parents. The only way to have a private tryst was to take your boat out to the Lido and make love at sea, under the stars.

There was also a change, albeit temporary, during our stay, caused by something that had happened in the U.S. less than two weeks before.

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