I have been going full steam since I hit the ground running here in Venice last Saturday evening. I would guess that I am spending at least nine hours a day photographing the city, and these peregrinations begin at 5:30 every morning. I am beginning to feel thoroughly tired, but I figure I only have one more full day in Venice. I can sleep once we leave.
My fatigue is exacerbated by the nocturnal arrival of the predicted thunderstorms. Around 3:00 this morning, the sky overhead exploded in a great cacaphony of natural fireworks. Celestial kettle drums pounded out an accompanying overture that shook the buildings to their piling foundations. What a tumult; an unwelcome, sleep-robbing display.
So it was with bleary eyes and stiff limbs that I greeted the alarm clock's morning wake up call. I splashed a bit of water on my face, grabbed camera and tripod, and headed back to the Piazza San Marco. I have now been down here three mornings in a row, looking for an iconic shot that screams “Venice.” The skies were clearing as I hiked south, so I was also hoping to capture a sunrise over San Giorgio Maggiore.
Alas it was not to be. Clouds lingered in the east, stuffing the sun until it was well clear of the horizon. A bitter wind blew from the southwest, chilling me in my light summer togs and shaking my camera on its tripod. Not an auspicious start to the day. I skulked around for a spell, then worked my way back to the flat for morning coffee.
What were we going to do on our last day in Venice? The girls wanted to return to San Polo, retracing the route we'd employed on Sunday in order to pick up some tourist kitsch that they'd neglected to buy. Much to my surprise, they also wanted to return to San Marco to experience a third acqua alta. Having just come from there, and feeling I'd had enough acqua alta shots, I was reluctant to go. Ultimately, however, the pressure of sunshine pouring in through the windows after so many grey days won out. I couldn't stay inside while there were was light, so I raced back to San Marco, and met up with them in the square.
After lunch we returned to San Polo: across the Grand Canal on the Traghetto—this time I rode across standing like a true Venetian—and then into the crowded calli of San Aponal square. Clouds were racing across the sky. Our few brief hours of sunshine were at an end. The weather has been surprisingly poor this week. Perhaps we really are rain gods. Or maybe, after a long summer, autumn is now truly upon us.
Instead of looping back through Dorsoduro, we follow the yellow signs to the railway station (ferrovia) cross the Grand Canal and head back toward Ca' d'Oro. The girls go directly back while I explore the Canal di Cannaregio until dusk.
On our last night we eat in our favorite Venetian restaurant, just off Santa Maria dei Miracoli church. A last dose of good Venetian pizzas, the last real Italian pizzas we will enjoy for some time to come. A sad farewell, perhaps.