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Question 10

How is Venice, Venice and not anywhere else?

In Venice:  You are surrounded by water.  Buses are called Vaporettos and boats replace cars.  Everything, including the garbage, is brought in and out by boats.  Men wear stripes and wide-brimmed straw hats.  You can’t understand a word the gondoliers are saying to each other but still every tourist takes a gondola ride.  The forcula is specific to every gondolier.  Only four people know how to make them.  Ground water floods the piazze and catwalks become sidewalks.  Getting lost becomes a part of your daily routine.  It is too easy to hit a dead end at a canal.  The canal water looks and smells disgusting.  There are only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal.  Every souvenir shop and stand is full of masks and costumes.  People drink colorful cocktails called spritz (and boy, do they enjoy it).  The only real green space is taken over by art and architecture shows.  Pictures and statues of a lion with wings are everywhere.  The Campanile has been restored numerous times due to fires and rebuilt “how it was, where it was” after a devastating collapse.  And by the end, you are excited to get back to solid land where the streets are properly labeled on a map.

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