The act of walking out of Santa Lucia station and beholding the Grand Canal feels a bit like stepping onto a stage and bowing to thundering applause. I always feel momentarily cleansed of all absurdity when I arrive in Venice, found innocent of all criminal charges, proud of myself and my life, as if Venezia is something I had a hand in creating, as if it couldn’t exist without me and my rush of radiant emotion. For a while I always sit by the water and watch the waterbuses arrive and leave, the gondoliers ease their boats up towards the Rialto Bridge. The blue of the sky invariably has a pristine ethereal quality which only Italian skies seem to have. I’m not at all fat, just the opposite, but if I were fat I imagine looking up at an Italian sky would make me feel like I had miraculously lost two stone overnight.