Letter from Venice – What the Morning Commuter Sees, Lido
Early day’s revelations.
[Text and photo by Lucio De Capitani]
The main disadvantage of living in Lido, at the outer edge of the Venetian lagoon, is that, although you technically are in Venice, it takes about forty minutes to reach the train station, the door to the mainland. Normally this is either an enjoyable experience or a considerable nuisance (depending on your mood).
If you have to leave very early, however, it becomes-somewhat-an epic journey. You start in utter darkness, at Lido’s pier, with the lights of Venice still shining in the night beyond the narrow strip of lagoon that separates Lido and the main island. At some point the boat arrives to bring you across the city, while the morning light slowly starts to creep out of the water, revealing more and more details of your surroundings. As you arrive at the station, it will be the Gray Hour, the time just before dawn, when everything is at the same time perfectly visible and indescribably vague.
It doesn’t last for long, though.
The bold and disrespectful dawn is already there, clumsily hidden behind a bridge, while the Gray Hour lingers in its last, sombre meditation. As you take the train and leave the Island of Venice, the dawn will be at full splendor, parading behind the watery city, and the sun will appear over the lagoon, as you, early traveler, already worn down by the effort of your journey, fall asleep in your uncomfortable seat.