One of the best ways to experience the real life of the city is to wait until late in the day, when many of the tourists have left on their trains and buses for the hotels and accommodation on the mainland, or retired to the easy life of their cruise ship. Better still to get up early in the morning when even those who are staying in the lagoon may well be still asleep. For me the attraction of such an enterprise was to get to the markets while their stock levels were at their freshest, but along the way you meet the true denizens of the city on their way to work, and dressed in their shop, office or workshop attire which brings relief from the sea of shorts and T-shirts that washes through the calli and campi.
As I left the vaporetto by St Marks the click of heels (unusual in itself) caught my attention as a woman fitting the Italian stereotype strode by at high speed. Late for work perhaps?
Her shorts surprised me. Yes the city can be hot and humid, but in most UK workplaces they’d be considered just a little too short, but that wasn’t their main attribute. It was their colour. Here was a woman out to get noticed; the colour did it all!