Thursday, September 27, 2007

Venice Pleasures

Well, I thought that somehow I had invoked the Curse of the Doges (mythical, the curse not the Doges). Twice, while writing my restaurant round up of Venice for the Travel and Food section of my web page,, my computer ate my text. I know, I know that I must have made a mistake, but really.

The reason I haven't included it here is that it is simply too long.

I got to Venice just before the film festival began. As I was staying at the Cipriani hotel, I was surrounded by film stars. This led to several small amusements. It was amazing how many young women who work in the hotel's offices found a reason to come into the reception area when George Clooney, Richard Gere, Brad Pitt and other handsome notables arrived. Black suited men with white shirts and black ties--odd in Venice--sat around the lobby and the restaurants (the body guards). There was also a rotating horde of translating PR women some with clip boards. At any hour from ten in the morning on, there would be a flurry of women in clingy, extravagant evening dresses. Red satin by daylight. Then there was the boat dock. Just beyond it, at all hours, sat coveys of taxi boats and private boats some bearing the logos of film companies. The private boats were for the stars. It was all like a film opening in Hollywood on water.

Perhaps the most dramatic boat scene happened one morning as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and four children in arms hurried onto a waiting boat to leave for the airport---Deauville next. Beyond their boat were five other boats each sporting at least four or five paparazzi with aimed cameras. As the movie star boat left the dock, the other boats wheeled around and gave chase.

George Clooney on the other hand was crafty. He sent one of guards onto a boat with his luggage and as the cameras waited, he slipped out the back of the hotel alone.

It is fun but it is not my Venice. My Venice has just been rescued from the Doge's Curse.

No comments: