To keep Venice alive for me this past year, I subscribed to the blog, Venice Daily Photo. I even have it on my Yahoo page, so it is the first thing I see when I get my email. Each day Pierre Pareja posts a photo of Venice and often doesn’t give the location. He likes the same kinds of hidden gems that I do, so each day is a treasure. He even made winter in Venice seem appealing, which is something for this California native.
There are many followers of his blog, and most jump in to guess the location and compliment Pierre on his marvelous shots. I was even able to add to the discussion when he published a picture of a certain red house that was mentioned in the book, The City of Fallen Angels, by John Berendt, which I had just finished. His posts always seemed to follow what I was reading about Venice. It was almost eerie.
He was in the United States this summer and so took a break from his Venice postings. I missed my daily fix. When I got here, I noticed he was back!! So I emailed him and asked to meet for a spritz. I recalled a very inviting picture he had published on May 21 of this year which first introduced me to the spritz and the afternoon custom here. Doesn’t this look good?
He agreed and sent me one of his pictures to name the place. (http://venicedailyphoto.blogspot.com/2009/06/caffe.html) He didn’t leave me in the dark on its location and said that it was in Campo Santa Margherita. He said his girlfriend, Isa, would join us as well as another Venice Daily Photo friend.
I went a few days early to check it out. I even used it as a meeting place when someone else suggested we meet in that area. “Oh, yes,” I said, like a native. “How about meeting at that bar with the red window”? It is referred to as “Caffe Rosso,” but I’m not sure if that is its real name.
He had set Wednesday, September 29 at 6 pm as the day to meet. I wrote it on my calendar and then wondered why he hadn’t shown up on Tuesday, September 28 by 6:15. I tentatively asked one guy if his name was Pierre and he just looked at me. Luckily a friend had given me her code to use for Venice Connected wifi, so I was able to check my email while standing there waiting. “Wednesday” popped out at me in the email. I sat down at one of the tables and enjoyed a spritz. And I sent him email with my telephone number and picture in case we had problems finding each other the next night.
So the next night here was this lovely, smiling man with his beautiful girlfriend, Isa (say “ee-sa”–short for Isabel) and a giant camera over his shoulder standing in front of Caffe Rosso.
The other person who met us was Bert, from England, who happened to be in Venice, hunting down places he had read about and wanted to photograph. Bert is always one of the first to comment on the location. Bert later showed me his tricks for deciphering Venice addresses and how he locates Pierre’s pictures so quickly. Tonight when Elisa invited me to her house for dinner, I just asked for the sestiere (district) number. Thank you, Bert!
Here is a picture of the three of them at our table. You can see spritz evidence on the table! We had just had our first round.
We had a nice chat and got to know each other. Pierre loves the English language and the United States. They started out in Washington D.C. and he posted a picture of fireworks. That was all we had for the summer. They also enjoyed time they spent in Montana. Pierre also has a Barcelona and Rome blog. He enjoys the comments from people on his blogs and he often responds if there is a question or a comment he wants to make. When he heard about my great flat, he asked for contact information for my landlady.
Here is the link to his current blog page where you can read all about Pierre and see links to his other blogs:
He liked my watercolor journal and asked me to pose with my favorite picture. This is one he took. I realize that I showed this picture before, but I wanted to include it here to show its context. And I like it.
We decided it would be fun to meet again with Venice Daily Photo friends.
He said they had been to an island during that day so the next few pictures were from that trip. My birthday was a few days later and when I opened his blog, this is what I saw:
It was such a wonderful surprise. He also published a link to my blog. Since then I have received very nice email (and even a lovely skype conversation) from some of his readers who read my blog and have a dinner invitation this coming week from one who is coming to Venice. It was wonderful to be in contact with other Venice lovers!