Sunday, March 29, 2015
The 8th Coolest Commute in the World
I recently happened upon a cable news network's list of the "World's 7 Coolest Commutes" and though each of them mentioned seemed interesting--and most in their brevity rather stretched what I think of as the standard meaning of the word "commute"--I wasn't sure that any one of them had much on Venice's vaporetto service.
There was one aquatic commute mentioned, the Walberswick ferry in Suffolk: the last rowed ferry in the UK, which is a 5-minute passage in a boat carrying just 11 people across the mouth of the Blythe River. This, I suppose, is comparable to Venice's traghetti, which are mostly used by Venetians to cross the Grand Canal, though the Walberswick ferry is rowed by just one person, seated and facing backward (while traghetti are rowed by two people, standing and facing forward). Though it sounds quite fun and picturesque, I wonder how many commuters actually use it.
But thousands of Venetian commuters rely upon the vaporetti and, to say nothing of the views, no matter how stressed I may be when I board a vaporetto, after watching the movement of the water all around me, the rolling wakes of passing boats, the spray off the bow or the bubbling engine tumult seen from a seat in the stern, the sparkle of sunlight or luster of lamplight upon the water, I never fail to disembark feeling better.