My tiny apartment is perfect. It’s luminoso abbastanza and tranquil during the day, and off the main tourist drag, so I don’t have murmering throngs streaming by non-stop (although the new, sleek, chic restaurant across the way is one of the few in the city open until 2a. Beato me…lucky me). I only wish there was a small terrace for plants and such. Piano, piano).

But the sound. All sounds, transported along by water, stone, plaster, and tile, with barely a shread of fabric anywhere to absorb any of them, are effectively endless…and make the confines of one living space and another seem very, well, indefinite.

I can hear a lyric soprano practicing from up the way, footsteps, dogsteps, greetings (Ciao vecio) and conversations in all languages, arriving and departing, singing, humming, whistling (In the halls of Mon-te-zuuu-uma…), yeomen calls (o-ii!), deliveries being hauled, loaded and unloaded, gondolas and their charges, O Sole Mios envolving into sleek, chic dinner music accompanied by the clinking of bar and dinnerware…it’s grand.( I keep a set of earplugs on the nightstand, just in case things get out of hand.). When it’s quiet, my brain regularly mistakes the sound of an approaching water taxi for wind whipping in a rainstorm. And in silent, wee hours, when the windows are open, the nearby rio carries the distinct grinding and whining of the #1 vaporetto, maneuvering itself in to position to rescue a few late-night revelers (Valleresso? San Giglio?). It puts me right back to sleep.

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