When I first saw the Venetian lagoon in September of 2000,
it was from a train passing over the bridge to Venice known as the Ponte della Libertà.
My eyes searched for any sort of rowing boats,
and of course the first ones I saw were orange and blue club boats from the GSVVM and their neighbors in green and white.
GSVVM caorlinas - ready to be rowed.
Our neighbors in green and white.
With the help of my dear friend Nereo Zane, the next day I was on one of those orange and blue boats, rowing in the same area.
I smiled when I saw people watching us from a passing train.
Rowing with my daughter in the lagoon.
As we rowed back and forth between Mestre and Venice parallel to the Ponte della Libertà, we would regularly pass by a Bricola with a sort of shrine on it.
The waters of the lagoon are not all deep enough for most boats,
and so there are navigable channels that have been dredged to allow safe passage.
These channels are marked by bricole, but I noticed that one was different.
I asked my friend Nereo about the green shrine and he told me it was called a "capiteo."
Nereo Zane captaining a caorlina.
If you try to look it up, you'll go down a rabbit hole that ends with the term "wayside shrine." These are typically found in catholic countries along roads or pathways where people travel.
Naturally, since the channel we were rowing in was a type of pathway, it made sense for someone to place a shrine there.
The original capiteo on this spot was placed in 1979 by the GSVVM rowing club and the Gruppo Tre Archi.
It has been a source of spiritual encouragement to many who've passed by - either rowing, motoring, or even from the train looking down.
A while back Nereo posted a great video about this remarkable "wayside shrine", with narration in Italian.
He asked me to provide a narration in English and I was honored to do so.
Below is the video, although if you can launch it in full screen,
you'll enjoy the scenery a lot more.
Big thanks to Nereo Zane for including me in this project.