First, I managed to eat lunch at one of my favorite little osteria's near the Rialto. Just a wonderful serendipitous moment where I happened to be at the right place at the right time. I love how the planets align for me like that- on occassion. My lasagna con pesce (with fish) was divine- but the icing on the cake was the kiss on both cheeks I received from the owner as I was about to leave, followed by his cheery "Ciao, Amore!".
Why was this so great? I just felt like I had somehow slipped - finally- under that imaginary barrier. This man extending his salutation to me without solitiation on my part made me feel accepted, no longer the stranger, the outsider. This is special.
Later in the day, I stopped for a cold drink at Imagina, one of our local caffe's in Campo Santa Margherita. While sitting outside sipping my Coca-light, I read the local paper, Il Gazzettino. There was a whole page article on recent happenings in the campo, a topic we've been following as it unfolds over the last week or so. There have been some recent changes in regulations regarding hours of operation for certain shops- the pizza shop, gelateria and kebob place have to be closed by 11 each night. The problem is all the noise and trash in the campo made by the late-night party-ers. But- the local beer joints can stay open. Hardly seems fair to me that the gelato guy can't continue to be open, and is loosing some good business. His customers aren't the ones drinking and being loud. Also, the local police have been cracking down on the establishments in the campo about their outside tables. The businesses need special licenses to have tables outside. Apparently they have applied to the city for the permits, but they have not yet been approved. In the meantime, the tables have been put in the campo. And the police are out assessing fines for this infraction- lots of them. The bigger problem is that without the tables outside during warm weather, these new little establishments will be out of business in a month.
Well, anyway, the article in the newspaper interested me, so I struggled through translating it. I had a question about whether this situation impacted Imagina, where I was at the moment. Stefano, one of the barista's, and I got into a great conversation about the article, and this whole predicament in Campo Santa Margherita. The whole conversation was conducted in Italian!!!! Simple pleasure Numero Due (number 2)!!!
And, last but not least- Simple pleasure #3. Last night I took a few minutes to check out a fellow blogger's blog. The day before, I spent a few hours with a family from New Zealand, showing them around some of my favorite spots in Venice. Their 9 year old son, Joseph, is writing a blog about his travels as a homework assignment. They are on a big trip, visiting several countries. Somewhere during our time together the day before, Joseph mentioned they were planning a gondola ride the next morning. I suggested he ask the gondolier if he could try rowing. Sometimes, depending on the gondolier, they just might let you. I can't help sharing this photo from Joseph's blog. What do you think, did Joseph enjoy Venice yesterday???
Reading Joseph's blog was the perfect ending for my day. Grazie, Joseph! You definitely made my day!