Thursday, September 27, 2012

Picnic in the Calle

photo credit: Jen
The above is NOT, I repeat, NOT something any visitor to Venice should do in Piazza San Marco or any other campo or calle in the city.

Only if you are not yet five years of age, and only barely six, and you're in your own neighborhood where many people know you, can you get away with a picnic like this--and even then not everyone will be sure it's such a good idea.

But the impromptu picnic above turned into something of an impromptu party, with, first, a couple of older kids stopping by and asking if they could have some food and drinks. (The answer from the two picnickers was a unanimous "No!"--as they know how those bigger kids eat.)

Three teenagers later arrived and lingered, not asking for food or drink, but taking in the scene.

Then a couple of parents happened by with their five-year-old son, who was invited to join in, being of the proper size. Then a couple of more parents. Then someone came up with idea of making paper airplanes and launching them off the balcony from which the picture was taken.

Then another parent and child happened by and joined in. And soon the party was partly taking place on the small balcony and partly in the calle below and I knew that such a thing would never happen in Brooklyn, where people are too busy and kids' live too structured; or Asheville, NC, where my son was born, and where kids play in their own private backyards and taking a walk through a neighborhood is like a walk through a ghost-town; or in that small town somewhere in Texas, where a mother was recently arrested for letting her 6- and 9-year-old children play in the cul-de-sac just outside of their house.

But it can still happen in certain neighborhoods in Venice.

But only if you're not yet five and just barely six... Adult visitors really should not try this. Though, alas, they sometimes do. 


  1. Replies
    1. It's always a pleasant surprise when things like that develop, no matter where you are.

  2. Now, this should raise a few smiles. What a nice picnic and party. I liked the way the youngsters monitored who could be part of their affair.

    1. And without the aid of velvet rope or bouncer!

  3. It is hard for such charming kids to be brutta, plus since they are sitting on a blanket, they are not sporca either!

    1. Well... To be honest, Susie, this picture was taken just before the container of fresh-squeezed orange juice was spilled all over the blanket, so sporca did come into play for a few minutes, at least until everything could be cleaned up and the blanket changed.

      And in this land of "non si fa" and clear-cut ideas about what is and isn't done, the mere sight of a blanket on the ground is enough to distress some folks. I remember thinking how strange it was that many apartments I saw didn't seem to have any rugs on the floors until I realized that rugs--especially if they rested upon rug pads--might encourage children to play on the floor, and playing on the floor was brutta e sporca, seemingly at any age.