Giovanni (Stranger #18/100), Venezia Arsenale

I met Giovanni on the Riva Ca di Dio, at the turning up to the Arsenale. He saw me spot him from some distant, and watched me walk the few hundred feet up to him with a sombre smile.

Whilst he was mid Sunday morning ritual – a walk up the Fondamenta Forni to stand and smoke looking out at the busy channel – he agreed to stop for a moment and allow a portrait for the project.

Not wanting to disturb his ritual I took a couple of steps to get a nice smooth background of Venetian building front. The chalky orange seemed to fit with his shirt and tinted spectacles neatly. I took a couple of shots straight on, but with the curve of the glasses it was impossible to avoid being reflected. A couple of steps to the side allowed for their reflection to shift to a nicely Venetian bridge – hence going with this shot without the eye contact.

A little while later walking back along the front I saw Giovanni smoking and we exchanged a solemn, but friendly, wave that made me feel a little 0.5% more rooted in this fantastic city.

Thanks Giovanni for allowing me to intrude on your morning – I hope you enjoyed your meditations on the lagoon.

This is portrait #18 of my 100 Strangers Project – check out the group page and get involved.

Apologies to my contacts for my sporadic presence – we’re working quarter end at an Amercian company, so things are very exciting, but outrageously busy!

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