You might be Venetian if…

fondamenta.jpgYou have a dog.


You have a dog, and you take it everywhere in giro: to the post office, in your boat, to the fresh market, into bars and restaurants, where it sits at your feet or on your lap as you chat.

You don’t walk the city with a camera or a map.

You give directions that include the bridges to cross but rarely the name of a calle or campo, and likely couldn’t name many unless they are principal thoroughfares or something you walk yourself on a regular basis.

You don’t try and board the vaporetto before the other folks have gotten off.

You don’t throw trash on the ground, but you throw your cigarette butt in the canal.

You never use the term Zanipolo to refer to SS Giovani e Paolo.

You’d never consider sitting on a bridge, a fondamenta, any steps, or in general eating anything anywhere except your house or a locale that serves food, and although are horrified at people who do, but would never consider saying anything to them.

You have no problem, however, informing someone in no uncertain terms that it is not acceptable to place garbage on the calle or fondamenta on a Sunday, knowing full well it won’t be picked up until Monday, and that we will have to smell your refuse all day long. It’s simply bad manners, maleducato. (Hanno anche ragione poi, feel free to follow their lead).

You know exactly how long it will take to get from San Stae to Rio Terà Secondo, from Via Garibaldi to Campo S.M. Formosa, from the Fondamente Nove to the Miracoli, and so on.

You’re rarely, if ever, late.

You have your own approach to navigating past endless groups of visitors who saunter 4-wide across narrow calli (as they don’t understand that there are people behind them that have to be somewhere).

You not only wear brightly colored pants of orange or green, you look good in them.

You’re familiar with the city, but with few of the hundreds of hotels and ad-hoc lodgings that have sprung up (and continue to spring) in recent years.

You look at a €100 price tag and think, “200.000 lira!?!”


(Hoping this will be an on-going list.)

4 thoughts on “You might be Venetian if…

  1. John Clarke

    I never get on the Vaporetto before getting other people get off. Though I didn’t know that the seats at the front are usually for elderly people…but I’d give up my seat to an old person anyway. 🙂

    On my first trip to Venice I tried giving an Italian couple directions in my own bad Italian. They got the jist of it, though admittedly Piazza San Marco isn’t easy to miss.

    And I always wondered about garbage collection in Venice…

  2. Andrew

    I never knew about the Zanipolo bit. I thought I was being cool and ‘in the know’ if I used it! I’ll stop forthwith. Always check your blog weekly – love it. Andrew (bringing 12 friends to the Salute on 18th -22nd this month. Are you rowing?)

  3. nan McElroy

    It’s a great name, Zanipolo; I don’t know why nobody uses it. One nickname that is used regularly though is San Bartolo, for San Bartolomeo, at the foot of the Rialto. Why one and not the other? Boh.

    And…as anyone who takes an elevator on a regular basis knows, the getting-on-before-others-get-off phenomenon is not limited to vaporetto behavior!

    Our remiera will definitely be organizing a sfilata to the Salute. This is one of my favorite festivals; good for you that you’re bringing folks down. The Salute at night with all the two-foot long candles lit…marvelous.

    I’ll keep you posted…

  4. kim hart

    …My partner’s Venetian (well from Burano really) and following his behaviour, I’d like to suggest that you might be Venetian if… ” you tell people who ask for some or other piazza that there’s only ONE piazza in Venice and that’s San Marco!”. And then feeling quite indignant that they might have thought otherwise…

    ps thanks for the San Zanipolo thing – I also thought I was cool and in the know – no more!


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