Today I caught the vaporetto to The Lido. It had the nice, relaxed vibe of an untrendy seaside town in New Zealand or Australia, with lots of slightly shabby cafes and shops selling many Chinese-made plastic beach accouterments. There are probably swankier areas, because you know, film festival and all, but what I saw was fairly low key. And there are cars! Quite the shock, after only two days without them.
And beaches! Call me crazy, but Venice itself doesn't feel oceany. There's no sand, no swimming, just streets that happen to be made of water. It was something of a jolt to come to The Lido and be all "That's right, that water is the sea!"
Italian beaches, however. The entire way down the coast road the beach was blocked from view by hedges, thoroughly fenced in, and lined with rows and rows of these little beach huts. That previous picture is the only hutless stretch of sand, possibly in the whole country.
I can't even. I just don't.
The reason for it escapes me entirely. Apparently this is how Italians like to go to the beach, and that is that.
So The Lido was pleasant, but aside from the army of beach huts planning to rise up and enslave us all, it was fairly unremarkable in the parts I perused. I walked up the beach side one way, peeking through hedges and gates for glimpses of the sea, then back down the other side, which has the boon of views back to Venice, but the downfall of apparently being where The Lido's sewage winds up. I did see a tennis club and a rugby field, which was a relief to me - I'd been wondering what Venetians did when they wanted to partake of a pastime that requires more space than, say, tiddlywinks.
Do you know, I don't think I've seen a street sign on a post since leaving NZ. In conclusion, the day was photographically uninteresting, but anthropologically and sociologically fascinating. Probably. To people who know what those things are.