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.
Drabbly 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