Il fumatore (Venezia 14)

Many of my favourite images shot in Venice are of the people I saw there, and though there are some beautiful women amongst them, this man stopping for a quick cigarette in the Campo San Giacomo di Rialto is my favourite.  It’s partly his expression, partly the tones in the picture, but for me it really works; let me know what you think.

Attitudes to smoking are now one of the things that distinguish cultures I find; as we Brits continue to make life difficult for the tobacco lover we have become accustomed to smoke free public spaces, and it’s easy to forget that our enthusiasm for clean air isn’t universally shared.  In Venice there is a law preventing smoking on public transport and the landing stages, but as far as I can see any other restriction is at the discretion of the owner of the premises.

The city council passed a by-law making it compulsory to provide a no-smoking area.  It’s just for show, to keep the tourists happy.  Normally no one pays any attention in a place like this, but every once in a while some arsehole insists on the letter of the law.

Dead Lagoon – Michael Dibdin


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