As I walked down all the tiny streets and over bridges in central Venice I was bombarded by design and fashion. Most of it was luxurious. Some of it was fronted by men selling contraband right in front of Prada’s windows, calling to the tourists to buy their genuine look-a-like goods. At times I felt uncomfortable with this contrast between high-fashion couture set in air-conditioned shops and the men who stayed put on the streets in the sun until caught – which seemed to rarely happen.
I looked out for the original, small artisan seller. Paper, glass and jewellery makers were dotted about here and there. I recall my mother and her friends being very fond of Italian gold – it has a certain patina and weight that distinguishes it from all the others.
Then I found a yarn shop with smiling knitters inside, despite 38C of heat every day…and like all yarn people, were extremely helpful. They told me their story and all about their yarns. We talked in a combination of English and Italian, enabling each other. We decided to stay in touch to share.
Dio benedice i maghi italiani!