A new world

On a gondola with Lynn (far left), Jim and Jean.

Lynn and Jean had never been to Europe before this summer. Britain, France, Italy. A whole new world opened to them, vastly different from East Aurora, a suburb of Buffalo.

Lynn at Piazza San Marco.

From food to dress to language, everything was unfamiliar. The girls took it all in stride.

I caught up with them and their father (my husband’s brother, Jim) in Venice. 

At first, Venice doesn’t seem the most kid-friendly place. But Lynn and Jean were enamored with the world of gelatos, pizzas and yes, cappuccinos (yes, the girls love their coffee, especially with lots of sugar).

Animals at a mask shop.

We took two gondola rides but it was more fascinating to walk the back streets of Venice — winding alleys and lanes connected by small bridges over the canals. We wondered about the lives of people who lived there — it was such a different way of life.

There are no cars, of course, in Venice. Only boats. The fisherman bring in their fresh catch from the sea. People get around by water taxi and private boats. The garbage man hauls trash by hand-pulled cart and takes it to a barge that transports it out. You probably don’t ever want to fall into the water here. Who knows what’s in it. 

The beauty of Venice charmed the girls. They were thrilled to sit at canalside trattorias and bars and return to America with memories of a lifetime.

A Venice mailbox.
The charms of outdoor trattorias.
Discovering Venice with nieces.


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