The corona virus is spreading throughout the world like a wildfire. My thoughts goes to all the affected countries in these troubled times. The nation being worst hit in Europe at the moment is Italy. It will likely be a no-go zone for a long time, so I think back on the many good times I’ve had there.

For instance, I visited Venice a few years back. While I really enjoyed the city (especially at night when all the tourists had vanished), I was stunned by the less-known islands in the north part of the lagoon.

After a quick boat ride from the city, I roamed across the San Michele Cemetery. An entire island as a graveyard, where I found the tombs of Stravinsky and Doppler.

Murano A canal in Murano.

Another boat took me to the island of Murano, where I had a nice espresso with tiramisu on a green patio. As Venice once grew, it had to be carefully planned unlike many cities on the mainland. Murano became the center of glass-making in the 13th century, since the smelting ovens were too dangerous to keep in the narrow wooden buildings of central Venice.

Burano Hanging by the canal in Burano.

But the real gem of the archipelago turned out to be Burano, the island of silk. It was amazing to walk along the narrow streets, lined with brightly colored houses.

We sat down by a fountain in a plaza, shadowed by the bell tower of San Martino Vescovo (leaning almost as much as the tower in Pisa), where we sampled the local delight called bussolĂ , a donut-shaped butter cookie.

Burano Burano – a dream in color.

There are some things I don’t enjoy about Italy, but the food and beauty is truly second to none.


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