The locals / by Mario Mirabile

Venice is a fascinating place to visit, but I doubt I could live here. Most people who work in Venice live in the surrounding areas and commute in by train or bus - there are no cars or bikes anywhere. But people do live here - some 60,000 of them. Private residences are scattered throughout the city, even in the most touristy areas. Like any other community, it has schools, supermarkets, corner shops, public transport and the odd church or two (well, 139 according to Google). 

I can't imagine what it what it would be like to open my front door and gaze into the passing hordes of tourists, not to mention the odd annoying photographer. But people seem to cope, and I've yet to witness any aggravation against the blow-ins. They go about their business, walk their dogs, have earnest conversations (they always seem earnest - perhaps it's all the hand gestures) in loud voices, sit and contemplate life and the children play street soccer against a backdrop of medieval buildings. The dogs surprised me somewhat. For no particularly good reason I was surprised to see so many of them here. The other thing that I couldn't work out for a while was why it it seemed so strange to see people using their mobile phones. It finally struck me that that they were talking on them. Only the tourists text here. I suppose you can't gesture while you're texting.