Monday, July 14, 2008

Bastinsula day

One of the most effective partnerships the Venice Project Center enjoyed over the years was the one with Insula s.p.a., the urban maintenance company owned by the city of Venice. Today I had lunch with an old friend from Insula, Lorenzo Bottazzo, to discuss ways to reconnect with Insula on the occasion of the 20th anniversary. Together, we did a lot in the late 1990's, when all of the results of the WPI-UNESCO joint project on Venice's canals was officially transferred to Insula, after it was created in 1997. Some of the most impressive achievements of the Venice Project Center occurred in the context of the WPI-UNESCO-Insula collaboration, as testified by the book Venezia La CittĂ  dei Rii, which marked the hand-over in 1999.
Today is also Bastille day and one could notice the preponderance of French speakers in Venice, kind of like the effect one would heave felt after May 12 1797, when Napoleon put an end to the millennium of Venice's history as an independent republic. Ile means island -- and so does "insula" -- so I re-christened today Bastinsula day...
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