There’s a soul-soothing atmosphere of quiet throughout the Dorsoduro and San Croce districts after dark. No scooters, no sirens, no thumping bass tones emanating from clubs, no half-bombed 20something women shrieking with laughter…just the barely-there sound of bay water lapping at pier pilings. There are many places, I’m sure, that are just as quiet when the sun goes down. But there are very few where you can’t hear hints of the far-away hum of civilization, where traces of the usual nighttime rumble aren’t at least faintly audible. I can sit at home in West Hollywood and feel cool and collected, but I’ll always hear the occasional helicopter or motorcycle whine or subwoofer speakers thumping in someone’s car or louche party animals roaming nearby. Venice is dead-mouse quiet, especially after 10 pm or thereabouts. You can hear a pin drop.

Last night we tried some of the home-made pasta sold by this guy, and there’s a huge difference between it and the usual stuff you buy at Pavillions.