This morning we had a great talk with an American woman who has been living in Venice for nineteen years. She told us all about how and when Venice had started feeling like home for her, how the Chinese have come and taken over the merchant stands and the Italians feel threatened by it, and she explained the the sewage system of Venice to us. We got the ins and outs from basically a true local, which was exciting and interesting to learn. The most impactful thing she shared though, was what one one of her your guide friends had said were the two most common questions she got – ‘What time does Venice open?’ and ‘What time does Venice close?’.
These questions really bothered me. How could tourists coming into this city see it as just a place that opens and closes – an amusement park. It is a functioning city with residents and history and a culture and identity.
As Jesse and I have been walking around this marvelous city, we’ve been intrigued and eager to learn more about. This meeting with this true resident opened ours eyes to what Venice really is. Venice doesn’t open and Venice doesn’t close – Venice is beautiful, mesmerizing, historic, romantic and alive.