As I’ve grown older, and have spent more time in hotter climes, I’ve become more tolerant of the sun, (or I’m more judicious in finding shade!) I notoriously suffered sun stroke on my honeymoon in Rome and for many years afterwards wore a succession of bandana’s, baseball caps and bush hats, but the headgear I always coveted was the Panama Hat. Famously a product of Ecuador rather than Panama, a hat that you could roll up and put in a pocket yet still retain its shape when worn again appealed on practical terms. When Doctor Who (in Peter Davison incarnation) wore one, it gained more credibility for me at least.
What has all of this got to do with Venice? Hat shops abound in some of the more stylish areas and the Panama is ubiquitous, for when the sun blazes and reflects off the water it can be quite intense.
I didn’t buy one. I couldn’t bring myself to spend so much on something that would rarely be worn. Or perhaps the image from Casino Royale of a sinister looking assassin stalking the Mercato Rialto as Bond sails down the Grand Canal has finally ended the appeal for me. There are still plenty of takers for one though.