The Friday Traveller goes to a gas station

I went to a city where I could only find ONE gas station. And it was very out of the way.

The city streets were silent, only the sounds of footsteps, the swish of clothes, the occasional piano or singing bird coming from an open window.

Instead of the outrageously revving engines of the giant trucks and buses we send out to play with our children in our public spaces, there was the gentle lap of water. The cries of children playing. Old men  greeting each other at a sidewalk cafe.

Here’s the gas station:




Of course, like any city Venice has its transportation system. And it runs on fossil fuels.

So despite the truck-free streets, here’s what anyone can readily see:


(above: the beer boat)


(above: general cargo. Unlike our trucks, theirs always had a crew of two men)


(above: ambulance boat)


(above: “dump truck” of construction sand)


(above: a crane, for all that heavy toilet paper. Children are responsible to bring their own toilet paper to school daily)


(above: police cruiser)


(Above: vigili del fuoco or fire dept boat passes an ambulance boat)


(above: delivery in a small lane)


(above: here come da buses – Tunney’s Pasture on the waterfront)


Above: lumberyard delivery


above: hearse boat


above: water via water


above: DHL picks up everywhere


above: Jay Z and Beyonce’s yacht, probably en route to a climate change conference

On a previous visit to La Serenissima, the vaporetto (bus) drivers went on strike. Since I was staying at the hostel on Giudecca (Jews Island) we had to get across the main shipping channel to Venice proper. I hitched a ride on the garbage boat. I got back later via the Coca Cola boat. Our society is becoming more paperless (except for toilet paper) and I did not see the Xerox boat last time.

Photos from Sept 2015.


3 thoughts on “The Friday Traveller goes to a gas station

  1. Most entertaining and an eye opener. Seems to me since my visit years ago, that traffic has increased; Is that possible? Oh and where are the bikepaths…

    1. Ben: on a previous visit, maybe 2001, I thought the whole place should be sold to disney as a vacation resort, as the guests would pay a stiff entry fee and occupy all the vacant houses. Air bnb and others have done that in the interim, tourism is up, the place looks a whole lot better than before, even better than the 70;s and 80’s when i first started going there.

  2. Venice is a very interesting place without cars, but don’t fall in the canal. The water is very polluted and will make you very sick if ingested.

    There is a place closer to home without cars and gas stations its called Mackinac Island where there are only bicycles and horses; a time before the car.

    When cycling there one has to be aware of the horse manure

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