More new pictures of Venice online. More coverage of wet weather in Venice (last December) here and here.
It feels like winter. The sky is leaden, and the public squares are almost empty except for a handful of North Africans who have materialized with 5-euro mini-umbrellas; they stay in touch with each other by cellphone. From the Accademia bridge, a German tourist tries to pierce the gloom with his camera flash.
On the periphery of the Campo San Stefano, half a dozen cafes serve lunch under a canopy of canvas. Bored waiters wielding brooms poke and nudge the accumulated water to the edge, where it cascades onto the outermost row of tables. "Cambia domani," they say, without conviction; it's going to be better tomorrow.
The Biennale is on. Art of all kinds is on display and being performed in museums, gardens, public squares, palazzos. Venice itself is a giant living museum, of course, even with the lights turned low. Along the maze of side canals are neighborhood bars where young and old stop for a glass on the way home. Prosecco, spritz, Campari Soda. Cicchetti are nibbled.
Back on the square a couple of tourists hurry past, protected by hooded white ponchos; they look like they're going to a KKK rally. Everyone wears sensible shoes. The wind shifts and the tablecloth gets soaked. All is quiet except for the church bells.