It's been five years since we last stayed in this part of town and I must say there's been a bit of change. Firstly, the graffiti throughout the city is worse. I'm surprised at how much there is. I mean, it's always been there, but now it looks ugly.
Secondly there are a lot more restaurants (by that I mean everything from an osteria to a ristorante). And a lot more are open in November! It may be because of the Biennale but it's very noticeable.
Thirdly there is a lot more restoration work going on. We ventured up the Grand Canal today and of course spent some time in Rialto. The entire bridge is under construction! Over the years we've seen the Bridge of Sighs covered up, Salute covered in scaffolding, St Marks itself seems to be an endless round of work, but to see the Rialto Bridge today, well let's just say it left me a little sad.
But then again, I'm home. Our canal is still beautiful and the pasticceria is still open (very important for a) hot chocolate and b) morning pastries when you feel like a change in your breakfast routine!).
The local mask maker gave us a very warm welcome (we have been a good client over the last five years) and the wonderful sales person in Fanny's glove shop was so delighted to see us it warmed the cockles of our hearts. In fact, she told us how many years since our last visit. Four. (Too bloody long between visits I say!j The waiter in the restaurant opposite told us that he recognised us and knew we'd been in there before. And it's so nice to have that in a city that millions upon millions of people visit every year, often for only a day or two.
This time we have a two weeks. Plenty of time to start the plan for returning to Venice for a seventh time wouldn't you say?