Venice is famous for its masks, now used mostly during Carnevale. The tiny mask shop where Stanley Kubrick had masks custom-made for his film Eyes Wide Shut was around the corner from my apartment. As was this fountain. Every day, for a few hours each day, a large dog was tied to this fountain and greeted everyone who passed by. When he wasn’t sleeping, of course.
The Dorsoduro is made up of small neighborhoods. My apartment was steps and one tiny bridge away from the Piazza San Barnaba where locals gravitate before school or work to have a quick espresso or cappuccino at the bar. I had mine with a warm brioche filled with marmalade. You could smell them baking from down the street. The piazza fills up again at lunch (siesta) time. Later in the day, people once again flock to the piazza for an aperitif after work. This being Venice, prosecco is the local favorite. Some of the crowd lingers on for dinner. I had a lovely meal and delicious house wine at Oniga.
This is a small piazza but it has all the essentials; incredible gelato at GROM …crema grom is the specialty and it’s amazing. A few small restaurants, shops, and a church. The church was hosting a small show of models of Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs. That’s one of the features about Italy I love best. Even in the smallest neighborhood, in a relatively obscure church, you can find wonderful art that is not really there for the tourists. The locals were the predominant audience for this show.
Docked alongside the canal next to the piazza is the produce boat. The smells are intoxicating; onions, peppers, gorgeous ripe fruit and the most brilliant looking tomatoes tempt everyone who passes by and most people can’t walk by without stopping to buy at least a piece of fruit.