Venice is a walking and a water city. This means the person you meet on the boat –– the public transit everyone takes –– you will likely see again in the square. It's a small, social city.
There are 53,000 local residents.. Every day 60,000 tourists weigh down the island for a few hours, then return to their cruise ships and leave. This makes it a teetering place. I picture the island itself as a raft that tilts to take on passengers and again when they leave.
It seems like a precarious balance for those who live in Venice: to host with kindness -- as they do -- and to maintain some privacy and space and quality of life. They attend to us. Me, a visitor too. I feel I'm somewhere between tourist and resident. And for some reason, with all my attention, I want to attend to the place and those I meet.Read More