Venice, Italy

Venezia, just 39 hours from day 35 to day 37. Sizzling in the August heat, but in spite of the tourist hordes and giant cruise ships accross San Marco, La Serenissima was calm and shimmering regardless.

So lovely to have Nani, Peter and Ridzwa – on their annual pilgrimage to the Venice Bienalle – welcome us at the Santa Lucia train station on our arrival, and spend the next 39 hours together. A whirlwind time of art, food, walks and Gritti discussions! As DHL failed to get my tux to Venice in time, also had to do some late if not quite panic shopping – have sarong will travel works on most trains, as has been done on KK 2019 thus far… But the Orient Express would have been a track too far!

Nani and Peter went on to visit Bologna, a short train hop from Venice. A city I visited twice before over a span of 35 years. Memorable for its positive example of civic engagement, civil society and social capital highlighted by Robert Putnam’s seminal work on social capital and the making of modern Italy, Bologna and before that Venezia has given the world two models of advancement : the network legitimacy of the Square and the hierarchical power of the Doges and their Tower. Niall Ferguson’s thesis of the Square and the Tower makes us think about power and legitimacy. The answer surely lies in the balance between both, something the great Italian city states and regions have given to world civilization and our common heritage to absorb and improve upon. #kretapikir 🚤🎼🧜‍♂️💟🇮🇹. Photo credit: Ridzwa Fathan


1 September 2019