Ice Soup, or, Venezia Gelata

The winter of 2012 has brought meters of snow and arctic temps throughout Italy and the rest of Europe;  weeks of sub-freezing temps here in Venice have turned the lagoon into a concoction resembling a frozen margherita without the tequila.

Seagull on ice

Water taxis banned from airport access due to motor-damaging ice (the larger Alilaguna are running, however); ice-breaking motoscafi working to keep channels open for the rest of the fleet; the opening Carnevale sfilata rowing parade was posponed a week due to icy temps and 20 to 30 mile-an-hour winds. This is the winter I experienced when I first moved here over seven years ago, the one I braced for in subsequent winters, but the one which has only just returned this year.

It’s a challenge, but Venice and Venetians take it as it comes, recounting prior winters just as cold and colder, decades and centuries past, engineering appropriate outerwear (furs, furs) to survive errands and market shopping, using the cold as an excuse for a hot chocolate (literally, mind you: hot, melted, chocolate), or an extra Carnevale fritelle or galani pastry (merita), one more ombra in compania as we make plans for when the cold snap ends.

On a more intimate scale, I spotted a pair of devoted mallards who make their home in a neighborhood canal. They’d apparently been out for a “stroll,” but were having difficulty avoiding the ice on their return to the rio dell’Orto. I hope they made it. Forza, coraggio…

10 Responses to Ice Soup, or, Venezia Gelata
  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy
    February 7, 2012 | 2:01 pm

    Are those all your pictures? Breathtaking!! Love the icy blues…

    • Living Venice
      February 7, 2012 | 2:22 pm

      They are mine! It has been so cold (what a wimp) and I have been so busy I haven’t been able to get out to shoot. It’s quite an impressive water-scape, I must say.

  2. MaryK
    February 7, 2012 | 9:41 pm

    Wonderful photos Nan! And I do hope that you’re all rugged up and keeping as warm as possible. It’s been an odd winter hasn’t it – so mild early on and now so freezing cold……..

  3. Linda Bailey Zimmerman
    February 7, 2012 | 11:57 pm

    Nan….terrific images….looks incredible…are the vaporetti running?
    Thanx for posting,….

    • Living Venice
      February 8, 2012 | 6:15 pm

      Ciao Bailey, It’s a little warmer today, no ice to be found. We’ll see what the future brings…

  4. Adrian
    February 8, 2012 | 5:53 pm

    Great shots Nan, amazing images, keep warm!

    • Living Venice
      February 8, 2012 | 6:14 pm

      Grazie – same to you…to all of us!

  5. C. G. Estabrook
    February 9, 2012 | 1:33 am

    One of those pictures is of the tree by San Lorenzo where Brunetti sees signs of spring…

  6. Susie L
    February 10, 2012 | 10:34 pm

    Brrrr Nan! It is hard to believe that a month ago I was sitting outside on Campo S Stefano sipping a spritz, the weather certainly did change.

    Beautiful photos!

  7. Keshawn Abell
    April 16, 2012 | 11:17 pm

    Very neat blog.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

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