The other day was one of those post summer pre autumn days when the sky is unexpectedly the brightest blue and you’re tempted to drop everything and go up on the hills. Well I was immediately tempted and after scrambling up near vertical shale emerged on the summit of Midsummer Hill breathlessly, looking around for a place to sit down. Which particular tummock or hillock should I choose? A little to the left or a little to the right? Into the wind or out of the wind? Sunny or shade? Decisions, decisions. So I just sat down. Simple. Just where I was. All the vistas were spectacular so any would do for my bramble scratched limbs and aching behind.
Not so easy when you’re in Venice however. You might walk all day, taking in the sights, mooching around pretending you’re a local, but try to sit down for a moment and you’re stumped; it’s as though all benches have been banned. Plenty of squares, but benches? Non, Signora. You can park your butt inside a church on a pew, or outside on the pavement if you’re that desperate, but search around for a bench on which to rest your tired aching limbs, and you’ll be walking all day. It’s alright for the locals, you see, they can go home. Perhaps the Venetian community think they clutter up the place. Who knows. But if you’re an artist wishing to sketch and make notes – tough……you’ll just have to stand.
So maybe a campaign should be started, “Benches in Venice” Or even “BENCHES IN VENICE NOW!” which sounds a tad more urgent. That way the next time I visit I’ll be spoilt for choice, with benches everywhere – imagine, I’ll be bench hopping like mad. Sadly the locals will also be up in arms, blaming that Venice is sinking due to all newly acquired benches; all that extra weight, you see: bums on seats.