Sting at the Piazza San Marco


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

We were wandering around Piazza San Marco last night and Sting was singing, sound checking, one imagines, before his gig later in the evening. We got quite close and hung around for a while until he waved farewell to the growing crowd. No zoom lens in my bag at the time but the middle photo below has Sting playing guitar with his back to the fans.

St Mark’s Square really is a spectacular, open-air venue for any performance and the acoustics were superb, even if one is not that keen on Sting! Kate, who saw him a couple of years ago, when The Police reformed, was bopping along quite happily. Sarah just kept saying, “who is Sting”?

Masks

Lucy and Sarah have stopped at every mask stall and shop in Venice. Let me assure you, that’s a prolific number of stops. We relented, it is much cheaper than a gondola ride and allowed them to buy some ‘authentic’, made in Venice, masks (many we saw appear to be made in China). We did check out one shop where an artisan was making masks. He seemed cranky. We didn’t stay long.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The tradition in Venice, of commedia dell’ arte, is actually evident in the streets when watching Venetians interacting. They seem very melodramatic, especially in gesture. We actually saw one elderly man lift one leg, fart loudly and then cocked the other with a slightly louder fart belching forth. He appeared to be returning from shopping at the markets.

Venezia

We are staying in Castello, the largest sestiere in Venice. At first, we thought there was a reasonable chance that we may never find our way back to the apartment as the maze of streets is very confusing. Now, we feel very confident navigating our way from markets and churches to piazzas and home again. Venice really is unique and one must wonder how the 60 000 locals cope with the tourist hordes, over 20 000 000 per year. Well, according to one local, they move. Venetians have moved to places where they can raise families less expensively. We have noticed there seems to be many older Venetians in the streets near where we stay. There are also lots of rules that are not conducive to family life. We are yet to see a bike or scooter.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

We have mostly wandered the lanes and enjoyed the ambience of this unusual city. Shopping for fresh produce at the Rialto fish, fruit and vegie markets was fun and I cooked seafood pasta with scampi, whole baby squid and green prawns while Lucy enjoyed her salmon. Of course, it is de rigueur for tourists to ride in a gondola and the girls thought it suitably magical. I thought it outrageously expensive but the gondolier was friendly, knowledgeable and very likeable. He told us that it is a three year course to join the ranks and that there are about 450 gondoliers in Venice.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore 

Sarah asked us later that afternoon why we have not spotted any ‘girl gondoliers’. We assume it is like the priesthood.