Swept away / by Mario Mirabile

Of course Venice is not all play. Someone has to work, but as long as it's not me, I don't mind. Leaving aside those who sell souvenirs, provide accommodation or cook and dish up food, Venice has it's share of interesting jobs. It could be something as simple as singing 70's American ballads with a thick Italian accent, which let me tell you is much better than it sounds. If you're lucky, you could find plenty of time time to write your journal while baby sitting a collection medieval stringed instruments.  Perhaps you could meticulously engrave intricate designs in gold leaf on glass. And if it's a slow day, you may just have to prop in the doorway and wait for customers.

One common task in Venice is sweeping. The millions of tourists who pass through each year make a terrible mess, and someone's got to clean it up. Aside from the gondoliers, one of the most iconic Venetian occupation is that of spazzino. Every morning, the spazzini take to the streets armed with their distinctive long wicker brooms, which wouldn't look out of place being ridden by a witch. It's hard to believe that these things are anything more than historical affectations for the tourists until you see them in action. They actually do a very good job of cleaning up all the scraps of paper and cigarette butts. And with all the tourists, sounds like a secure job for life.