Monday, December 7, 2020

A "Ponte" Near Torcello, This Afternoon (10 Views)

That's the leaning campanile of Burano in the center of the image, with a few sprinkles of rain visible on the mirror-smooth lagoon.

The "ponte" in this post's title refers not to the literal type of span but to the metaphorical sort, as the word ponte is used in Italian to refer to a day like today, which links this past weekend to the national holiday tomorrow of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and thus, at least for many people (among them students), makes this a four-day weekend. My son and I used the day off to take our boat out north of Torcello this afternoon. 


The campanile and Basilica of Torcello

In the distance is the walled ossuary island of Sant'Ariano, which is a major setting in Philip Gwynne Jones' charmingly-written suspense novel Venetian Gothic (published 2020), as well as in Michael Dibdin's dark mystery Dead Lagoon (1994)


It was only a matter of time before a boat tearing through the barene well above the posted 5 km/hour speed limit did what the passing sprinkles could not--obliterate the mirror surface of the lagoon

A cormorant taking off from the lagoon appears no more likely to succeed in getting aloft than the most ridiculous of humanity's earliest aeroplanes captured in old film footage...

At rest though, he is regal enough


  1. I once hired a small boat to see that northern part of the lagoon, San Ariano, La Cura. A winter sunny day like yours. How beautiful and peaceful. My place on Earth.

    1. What a great idea you had, Jon. Imagine owning the house on its own little island in the 6th image from the top.... The peace out there really is amazing.

  2. Wonderful lagoon shots, thank you. For me the real pull of Venice is the lagoon. I've now managed to get out to all the "main islands", Murano, Burano, Torcello and on my last visit Sant'Erasmo (which was wonderful), but I dream of going farther into the more obscure reaches of the lagoon. Also, in French (at least here in Canada), there is the saying "faire le pont", which has the same meaning as the Italian "ponte" you describe. For me, I am about to "faire le grand pont" and bridge my way right through to the New Year!

    1. Again, a belated thanks for your comment, Bossert. It's certainly for the best that the vast majority of people who visit Venice don't give much thought to the lagoon. The "developers", such as Venice's mayor, fantasize about every square meter of the lagoon being monetized in the service of tourism and one can only hope that never happens, as the lagoon is, as you suggest, the defining feature of Venetian life. It is the last refuge for Venetians--as the lagoon was 1,500 years ago for those mainlanders fleeing barbarian hordes. (If the current mayor had been among those fleeing mainlanders, rather than being the leader of one of the pillaging hordes, he's likely to have set up a lucrative guide service to transport the pillagers to their victims.)