by Pete Hussey
Here is something different, I think, from the usual vacation destinations.
This is, as you see from the first photograph, Forte Marghera and it is situated on the mainland side of the Venetian lagoon near, obviously, Marghera. It was begun in 1805 as a defence system for the lagoon between the mainland and Venice itself but if you want to know more there are details online.
These days it is owned by Venice city and is used for community enterprises.
In the evening we like to take a short bus ride from Mestre and walk along the track to this place. There are many bars and small restaurants dotted around amongst the mature trees and it is hard to resist as the fragrance from the cooking seems to hang in the air.
Some of the old buildings are now used as a cat rescue centre and the cats are free to wander in safety around this small island, for island it is. A particular pleasure is to sit on the waterside sipping a spritz (isn't it always though) far from traffic and the mayhem that happens in the centre of Venice.
Maria's reply: I've never been here and yet it looks so lovely, so peaceful. You described it beautifully and the photo of the people relaxing at the water's edge made me long to be there, on a late summer's evening, enjoying a spritz too.
The cat colony is interesting as well, there are more and more of these cat colonies throughout Italy now. The one in Rome is probably the most famous but this one has become better known in Italy in recent years through the beautiful calendar they sell to raise money. I believe there are over 150 cats now - they are all sterilized, given their vaccinations and cared for when they are sick - so you can imagine it costs quite a bit to keep going. All who work there are volunteers.