In this months The Simple Things, come with us through the winding streets, sunny squares and cool canals of Venice
There’s no better way to get to the heart of a city than through the people who live there. Every month, we ask someone, clearly in love with their city, to take us on a personal tour and tell us what makes it so special. You may feel inspired to visit one day or to rediscover the charms of a city closer to you, but for now just sit back, relax and enjoy some armchair travel.
This month, Iris Loredana takes us on a tour of her city, Venice.
How long have you lived in the city?
I grew up in Venice and went to university here. I’m passionate about my city, I did my thesis on ecology and the urbanisation of the Venetian Lagoon. I currently live and work in both Venice and Vienna.
Tell us what makes your city unique.
One thing is the light, which you can’t help noticing even on a rainy day. It’s a kind of translucent light that changes rapidly, as does its shimmering reflection on the water, making Venice look like she’s wearing a different dress several times a day. In late summer the sun’s rays immerse the buildings in brilliant sparkles.
What’s it like in September?
Warm and calm. Venice sits in the midst of a vast lagoon and this large water basin stores warmth. This means that summer lasts a little bit longer here. In late summer (we call September ‘summer with a bonus’), the colours become sharper. Early autumn is called ‘Canaletto season’ because the Venetian painters used to benefit from this mesmerising light and clear skies. It’s a great time of the year to go for long walks. The scent of the summer flowers is strong because the heat has abated. On a bright September morning you’ll notice the scents of wisteria, blossoming for the third time and oleander growing in the campi (squares) with its irresistible vanilla-lemon balm fragrance.
Tell us about the light and colours of your city.
In September, the early morning light has a rose gold hue. This colour is accentuated by the red brick façades and many buildings in town that are painted in rosso Veneziano (Venetian red). Towards noon, the sky turns 2 cobalt blue, shifting to emerald by late afternoon. If you’re lucky, your September evening sky will glow rose, pink and dark gold intermingled with light blue.
Turn to page 54 of September’s The Simple Things for more of Iris’s Venice secrets or look out for My City in every issue (and search previous posts here).
Iris Loredana founded website and blog La Venessiana: The Fragrant World of Venice, along with her grandmother, Lina, in 2015. They write about life in the Lagoon, and the city’s private homes, kitchens and secret gardens. Find them at lavenessiana.com.