A remarkable hail storm last night that made me fearful for the old and wonky panes of glass in the doors between my study and the altana deck. Friends coming in from the airport by boat had to shelter under the Rialto Bridge until the storm had passed. All in all a good, summery start to a holiday weekend.
Tomorrow is the Feast of Redentore, when the city gives thanks for its deliverance from the plague of 1576. Nearly 50,000 people died in that plague – there was to be another one in 1630 that carried off 90,000 souls – astonishing figures when you consider that there are now fewer than 60,000 of us permanently resident here.
Venice signals the start of Redentore with a stupendous firework display at midnight, but that is preceded by a traditional dinner of sarde in saor followed by roast duck washed down with large quantities of wine, wherever possible eaten aboard a boat, preferably one equipped with a Porta-potty. Our hostess this evening is a vegetarian, so there’ll be neither sardines nor duck, but she’s also a superb cook so we’ll not starve. My contribution: a frittata of spinach and toasted pinenuts, which I’m going to start any minute now. Should I also make a tomato sauce to serve with it? It’s a tough one.
Interesting times in the US. I note that some of our friends who voted for and will brook no criticism of the Blessed Barack, are now starting to twitch. Well hell, it’s a festa weekend. I think I should be allowed a spot of schadenfreude.