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David Rimanelli

Cooling off in Venice, 2003. Photos: Roman Mensing.


June 11

VENICE BIENNALE. Arrive around noon at Marco Polo Airport after a predictably unpleasant trip. There’s a shuttle to the dock. The vaporetto is crammed with sweaty people, the heat unreal, and I feel tired and ill-tempered, so I opt for a water taxi, even though it costs 80 euros, which given the exchange rate, is easily more than a C note—livin’ large. This is a sensible way to squander money: sitting alone at the back of a boat that could easily accommodate ten people, I feel rather glamorous, like Monica Vitti. Maybe this will be fun after all. The driver leaves me off at the Rialto: “You see that street between the bridge and the palazzo? Your hotel is that way.” What I see looks like an extremely narrow and dark alley, and I’m amazed that I find the hotel, located on yet another impossibly narrow and gloomy street, Calle de la Balote. Its rooms are modern and air

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