On one spectacular day in May 2004, after coming and going to Italy continually for almost ten years, I was sitting with a small group of travelers on the Zattere at the waterside snack bar, al Chioschetto, enjoying a panino, limonsoda, and the visitors’ own fascination with this enchanting water-city.
I looked beyond them for a moment, down the expansive riva, with all its saunterers, servers, and scintillating conversationalists, to the shimmering Giudecca Canal that could barely contain the massive cruise liner being tugged out to the Adriatic, then up to a brilliant sun that’s at least partially responsible for the intoxicating luminescence of days like these. That was the moment I gave in, che ho ceduto, when I faced the undeniable realization that strolled up and sat itself in my lap. “These people are travelers,” I said to myself. “I live here. This is where I live.”
Oh, dear. Now what?