Dear Venice, Wish You Were Here (#1)

I’m starting a new series for you today! I’ve run out of Gondola Stuff to show you, so instead I’ll occasionally post selections from my postcard collection. It all started when a friend gave me about 20 Venice postcards that he had found on eBay. After that, I started keeping an eye out for postcards on my own and even began searching for them in earnest, particularly in Venetian antique shops. But I quickly realized that this could become a deep, dark rabbit hole that might result in bankruptcy. So I’ve set limits now: Only cards with gondolas on them and writing as well, and under $10 euros.

I picked this one for today because we just had rain showers over the weekend (in California where I live), and I like thinking of the rain in Venice. This card is from 1966, not too old. Check out the gondolier’s snazzy white outfit. You can see that even back then museums were hanging banners from the Rialto Bridge to advertise the exhibits.


In case you have trouble reading the handwriting, here’s the text (punctuation left as in the original):

“Hi! Now in Venice had a gondola ride tonight and got caught in a rain storm. Leave in a.m. for Brenner Pass and Austria. Good group, lots of fun. Love Billie.” 


Notice that the address does not include a zip code–interesting because zip codes had been in use since 1943 and became mandatory in 1963. Was Billie a rebel by affixing the stamps upside down? Or just careless? Did Billie type up a bunch of address labels to bring on the trip? What does this tell us about Billie? And who is Ruth who was left at home to receive this postcard?

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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6 Responses to Dear Venice, Wish You Were Here (#1)

  1. I think Billie is a woman traveling with a tour group. This is what I found on The Chatham: “The Chatham (135 S. 20th Street) is a luxury class doorman apartment building one block from Rittenhouse Square. Charm, comfort, and convenience in Philadelphia’s exclusive Rittenhouse Square area.” I love your post card idea. Could be great fodder for a novel.

    • I love that you looked up the Chatham! Yes, I thought a little bit of Katherine Hepburn in Summertime, a woman traveling to Venice, though Hepburn’s character goes solo. Wait till you see some of the other cards. They definitely evoke questions and curiosity.

  2. I love Summertime and watch it each time it’s aired, even though Rossano Brazzi is so “over-the-top” even for an Italian man. I do look forward to seeing some of the other cards. What fun!

  3. Nancy says:

    I love Hepburn’s independence in “Summertime.” And I love the color of the postcard.

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