Up at dawn into a floating city.
While some people might flock to see sunrises and sunsets and frame up a composition carefully arranging the historic canal-side buildings, I think I found more pleasure in getting my first lesson in the way a floating city works. I mean, practically speaking. Rubbish collection. Food deliveries. The post. Funerals..
The morning was the best time to see this in the city. As twilight crept through the city all these things were happening, unseen to the people still asleep.
Everything in Venice, from every brick and stone in the buildings themselves, through to the food on your plate, has been delivered there by boat. I would later better see how this works practically, with deliveries coming in by road on the link to the mainland, where they would be emptied from trucks into boats of various sizes for delivery into the city. It was fascinating.
Police, fire and ambulance are also obviously waterborne - the first time you see an ambulance bouncing across the water with its siren on is quite a novel sight.
The lagoon is what kept Venice safe and prosperous for nearly a 1000 years: strong currents and sandbanks meant that no invading fleet could navigate to the city.