Who lives in Venice is used to deal with water in all sorts of ways.
Knows the water of the Adriatic sea and the lagoon where Venice rise on, the same water that spreads all through the city with its canal and rii.
Knows the water when it becomes fog, which during the winter time wrap up around churches and buildings. The water from the rain, that seems to melt together the surface with the submerged.
Know exactly what a flooding is, acqua alta, which has always fascinated tourists and always gives troubles to the locals.
In only one shape the water here is unusual, strange, because it is really exceptional to see it falling: the snow. And it is even more exceptional that the snow would last for a while, to cover completely the hard, Istrian stone floor of Venice. Usually the snow lasts only for a few hours during which the buildings change their centuries old look.
A short time in which the black gondolas of the Squero di San Trovaso are covered with a bright, winter frosting during which you can walk through an unexpected Venice, arises out of nothing.
If, at the end of your journey, you will find yourself facing the arch of the Doge’s Palace covered in so much white, you can always open a large umbrella, freeing the colors covered by the snowfall.
Before going back, imagine you can sit quietly,
and Saint Mark’s Square becomes a living room, a white, soft carpet under your feet… and a hot cup of coffee melting a circle of snow on your table.
You are sitting comfortably, turning your back on the Procuratie Nuove. Nuove means new, because these buildings and the related arcades have been completed in the mid-seventeenth century and are exactly mirrored to those on the other side, in front of you: the Procuratie Vecchie, old. Instead the Procuratie Vecchie were built for the first time in the 12th century and then rebuilt in the middle of the 16th century. The Procuratie surround Saint Mark’s Square and they are called so because once they were the headquarters of the procurators of San Marco, the most important persons during the Republic of Venice, immediately after the Doge.
The winter sky is white. On your right the Basilica of San Marco and the bell tower, on the left the third and last part of the Procuratie, the Ala Napoleonica, where the Correr Museum is located.
If you have stopped here too, near the historic Caffè Florian, the blue of the armchairs will be already reminding you the color of the sea water, which surrounds you and makes you feel its scent.
Welcome to Venice!
Photography: Sara Ballarin
Words: Berenice Dentis