A Magic Moment in Venice

It's official. Venice is slowly sinking. And my heart did too when I saw the crowds. A daily torrent of human tide pours over this stunning city. Below the water line the wooden pilings subside gradually into the Lagoon Of Venice.

Not content with inviting the world and his dog Venice was literally overflowing with dogs! Maybe it was bring a dog day. "Let's clog up the city even more" - ran the banner - probably. A group of Italians clambered out of three black gondola, all carrying poodles, all looking pretty dejected and dangling underarm.

Searching for a perfect cup of coffee at a reasonable price - we are from Yorkshire after all - we decided to escape the maddening crowd. Down a narrow, probably once decadent alleyway we came across a bar. Cafe chairs arranged neatly outside facing outward. The world willing to be watched. The furnace like sun warming and exhilarating our mood. For a May day it was surprisingly hot. We entered through a blistered paint door.The bar was dimly lit, stuffy and uncompromisingly hot. The bartender simple dim! On the first table sat a hard granite-jawed Venetian. Unkempt and seemingly entertaining himself with his own conversation and occasional expletives - thankfully in a foreign tongue.

Grand Canal, Venice, ItalyDrabbly dressed, the barman had his dismal tortuous life journey etched on his olive green skin. His prominent nose, large and angular, looked like an olympic ski jump. He was unnervingly scary looking as though he was passing a kidney stone. Seemingly ready to commit violence at any moment.

His female companion glance towards us, beautiful with false eyelashes so lush you wanted to inhabit them. Petite, with red hair in a bun pierced with a cheap hair accessory. Fresh and stylish. Freckles crowding her marble like exterior. Probably cold to touch and even colder to know.

But oh the coffee! A delicious invigorating cup of steaming hot Italian coffee is akin to finding the Holy Grail.

Today in this quaint backwater in this amazing place we had found the GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW!

Author: Dave Harcombe

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Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • Sandra Newnham
    13 days ago
    Very easy to find cheap food and drink in Venice if you walk away from the centre.
  • ehensler
    about 2 years ago
    this has motivated me to book a trip to venice.
  • Jenny Lunn
    over 2 years ago
    Ah - there is nothing quite like Italian coffee .... but at a reasonable price? We adored Venice but found it fearfully expensive (and we are used to high prices coming from Surrey!). We did find that everything was very expensive - the epitome of which was a fairly bland cocktail costing about 20 euros in the famous Harry's Bar - this was in 2004 so it would probably cost considerably more now, but I suppose one does pay for the privilege and kudos of drinking in the haunts of such famous people as Hemingway. Chaplin, Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Woody Allen amongst others!

    Would I go back there again - yes, I probably would, but only for one drink!!