Some quick reflections:
I’ve only visited Venice in the summer, so I’ve never experienced being chilly in Venice. It’s really nice. As an American, I have a strange mixture of the nostalgic associations one has with Thanksgiving superimposed on the Serenissima, which have the effect of amplifying one another. A wonder to be cold in Venice.
It remains easy to make friends in Venice.
Venice is smaller than I remember, but still maintains its paradoxically infinite capacity.
Fewer tourists is a godsend. Banning the cruise ships has clearly had a positive effect.
I’ve promised myself to update / finish my Venice syllabus-guide.
COVID took many, many businesses. I’ll miss Ai DiVini. I haven’t yet walked around enough to catalog all the losses but I will.
I had forgotten that Italians have no idea how to make breakfast.
“The only thing that could beat this city of water would be a city built in the air”–Brodsky (vis Hazlitt vis Calvino) Watermark
“Let me reiterate: Water equals time and provides beauty with its double. Part water, we serve beauty in the same fashion. By rubbing water, this city improves time’s looks, beautifies the future. That’s what the role of this city in the universe is. Because the city is static while we are moving. The tear is proof of that. Because we go and beauty stays. Because we are headed for the future, while beauty is the eternal present. [W.H. Auden’s nostaglic] tear is an attempt to remain, to stay behind, to merge with the city. But that’s against the rules. The tear is a throwback, a tribute of the future to the past. Or else it is the result of subtracting the greater from the lesser: beauty from man. The same goes for love, because one’s love, too, is greater than oneself.”–Brodsky, the final lines of Watermark.