Venezia has benefited from the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in the best of all possible ways. Yesterday is back.
There is silence, space and the water is clear. Peering through the billowy clouds, the sky shimmers Canaletto blue, and only intermittent boats animate the reflections in the water of the deserted canals. You can walk aboard a vaporetto, let your glance linger over the ornate palaces as you glide by.
For the first time in decades, there is time and space to remember the island city as it must have been a century ago. You can rediscover the humanistic attributes of Venetian life, the old politenesses, the traditional beauty, with the luxury of time. It’s emptier, slower, recovering. It’s a time of classical revival.
Last week Lucire sat down to an impromptu lunch at the Canova Restaurant at the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venezia, in the company of our old friend GM Gianmatteo Zampieri. We were intent on rediscovering the traditional cuisines of the lagoon presented by chef Massimo Livan. The constellation of tastes took us back to the greatest classical kitchens of the Veneto.
Later I had the opportunity to watercolour at one of the canal-side tables by the front entrance. A group of gondoliers kept up a steady banter as water taxis came and went, all at a tranquil pace. Venezia is unhurried. Nobody bothered me. I ordered a Spritz Aperol and watched the light change. It took a long time. Then I walked home.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor