#4 Ferrara and Venice


June 28, 2008


The difference between bike riding in Ferrara and in Holland is, I think, speed. It’s too hot here to ride too fast, so people are a little more laid back about it. The Dutchies, on the other hand, ride with furious intent. The Ferrarese are also laid back about the road rules, so you can ride up the one way street the wrong way, you can cross the road, as far as I can see, willy nilly, and cars will slow down. Well, it’s like that in New York too, (except that cars are less likely to slow down!); all those delivery bike riders all over the place. There’s something very appealing about this level of lawlessness. We seem to have adapted to it very well, no doubt at our peril.


We took ourselves off to Venice for an overnighter, feeling very proud of our minimal luggage, vowing to each other that we will, from today, always travel this way. We rode our deadly treadlies to the train station, tied them up overnight and took the 1 ½ hour train ride to Venice; only about 6 Euros, actually one of the few bargains to be had in Italy, air conditioning thrown in.


Did you know that Venice is a city on islands. How cool is that? So there’s water water everywhere….Our hotel was on the island of Lido, a long skinny island which reminded Terrell of Glenelg, and me of Noosa. It took a while to find it, and it was hot. We rented bikes for an hour, suffering bike withdrawals, and road to the camping (no, that’s not a typo, that’s what they say here in Europe…the “camping”, not the “camping ground”!) on the southern tip of Lido for a cappuccino. Coffee in Italy is wonderful and you don’t need a bank loan to pay for it.


The water buses in Venice are fantastic, you can buy a pass for 24 hours, and just hop on hop off. If makes a lovely rest between all that  (to quote Bren) “old shit”. We saw the amazing Cathedral of St Mark, supposed to be the most elaborate cathedral in Europe. Just walking through the little alleys in Venice is wonderful, you don’t need an itinerary.


We saw some really clever glass blowing on the island of Murano. There are some interesting stories of jealously guarded family secrets; how in ancient times, you would be seen as a traitor to leave the island with some of the knowledge; recipes, techniques, passed on through these families.


So here we are back in Ferrara, two more days of this lovely place, and then we rent a car and drive to Florence. More later!


Photos are at

Venice http://ournews.mobi/album/Venice/index.htm

Murano and The Lido http://ournews.mobi/album/Murano/index.htm

Video clips at

Venice http://ournews.mobi/album/Venice.wmv

Murano http://ournews.mobi/album/Murano-lido-venice.wmv


ALBUM Photos YouTube

Today working on picture poem links starting around "better" (August 03, 2012). Picture poems are the digital format of work I did as a street artist in New Orleans in the 1970s, as well as New York City, Honolulu, San Francisco and Adelaide South Australia.