Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Women - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH DAVID

Of all the spec­tac­u­lar food mar­kets in Italy the one on the Rialto in Venice must be the most re­mark­able. The light of a Vene­tian dawn in early sum­mer – you must be about at four o’clock in the morn­ing to see the mar­ket com­ing to life – is so limpid and so still that it makes ev­ery sep­a­rate veg­etable and fruit and fish lu­mi­nous with a life of its own, with un­nat­u­rally height­ened colours, and clean, sten­cilled out­lines. Here the cab­bages are cobalt blue, the beet­roots deep rose, the let­tuces clear, pure green, sharp as glass. Bunches of gaudy gold mar­row flow­ers are there sim­ply to show off the el­e­gance of pink-and-white mar­bled bean pods, prim­rose pota­toes, green plums, green peas. The colours of the peaches, cher­ries and apri­cots, packed in boxes lined with su­gar-bag blue paper match­ing the blue can­vas trousers worn by the men un­load­ing the gon­do­las, are re­flected in the rose-red mul­let and the orange von­gole and cannestrelle, which have been prised out of their shells and heaped up into bas­kets.

…In Venice even the or­di­nary sole and the ill-favoured skate are striped with del­i­cate li­lac lights, the sar­dines shine like newly minted sil­ver coins, pink Vene­tian scampi are fat and fresh, in­fin­itely en­tic­ing in the early dawn.

The gen­tle sway­ing of the laden gon­do­las, the move­ments of the mar­ket men as they un­load, swing­ing the boxes and bas­kets ashore, the ro­bust life and rat­tling noise con­trasted with the frag­ile taffeta colours and opa­line sky of Venice, the whole scene is out of some marvellous un­heard-of bal­let.

Vin­tage Vuit­ton ho­tel luggage la­bels from the col­lec­tion of Gas­ton-Louis Vuit­ton

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