Saturday, May 31, 2008

La Serenisima - II

According to statistics the population of Venice is on a steady decline and has halved over the past 50 years. The current estimate runs at around 63,000 for all the islands. More and more people are choosing to live on the mainland where rents are cheaper and work is available in something other than the tourist industry – which accounts for 60% of local employment. There are at least 450 souvenir shops in Venice proper - we noticed that where once had been local stores there are now shops selling trinkets and authentic Venetian carnival masks made in China.
A neighbourhood in San PauloBut once you find your way out of San Marco and into Dorsoduro or Castello there are neighbourhoods - in the old sense of the word. People do their daily marketing, sit in the campo and have a coppe of gelato, stop for coffee or an ombre (a glass of proseco and a snack) at the local bar or hang their washing out the window while exchanging gossip across the narrow calle.
Green grocer in the streetOpen air market in San PaoloBundles of agretti
Agretti is a very popular spring green - its almost like a chive but has the bite of sorrel. Boiled and then sauteed with olive oil and garlic its a great side dish.
Open air marketDelivery boats
Produce is brought in from the mainland and from farms located on other islands in the lagoon such as San Erasmus. And there's only one way of bring it in - by boat!
Gelato at Paolin's
There are hundreds of gelateria in Venice but I think the best is Paolin's in the Campo San Stephano. Their pistacchio and caffe are the benchmark.
Laundry on the lineLaundry on the line
These calles are not that far from San Marco but far enough that most of the day-trippers never see them.

31 maggio - Cuore Immaculata di Maria


Doralong said...

Markets and gelato! Two of my favorite things..

Lorraine said...

Pardon my drool.