|Catching a ride home from school during the official Estate di San Martino|
The feast of San Martino is November 11, and if you're not familiar with how it's celebrated in Venice you can find some images of this year's activity here: http://alloggibarbaria.blogspot.it/2013/11/festa-san-martino-2013.html#more, or, from a previous year, here: http://veneziablog.blogspot.it/2011/11/what-racket-festa-di-san-martino.html
But this year the 3-day strike of taxi and transport drivers seemed to create (at least metaphorically) a second specifically aquatic Estate di San Martino on the Grand Canal. In the absence of the usual heavy traffic, the Grand Canal seemed to be infused with a soft glowing tranquility--even in the gloom and rain of the third day of the strike last Friday. And the main reason this unusual calm resonated so much with Venetians is that they knew perfectly well that, like Estate di San Martino or Indian summer, it would not and could not last.
In fact, by Saturday morning the strike was over. No concessions were made to strikers, Mayor Orsoni proudly announced, the new rules governing traffic on the Grand Canal would be implemented in full, as planned--though the city would be open to making minor adjustments to them if needed to assure their better functioning.
So Estate di San Martino in both senses is truly over. But we can hope that a bit more calm (and safety) in the Grand Canal is here to stay.