Piazza San Marco

A few meters away from the square, the dark and moist air of the street carries the white noise of the crowd, already dense despite the early hour. Coming and going gently, the atmosphere seems to be moving in shy and slow pulses. As soon as one crosses the porch and then the colonnade, a powerful radiance, both direct and reflected by the light limestone, burns the retina. Together with an auditory buzzing of the reverberated hubbub, a surprisingly strong sensorial saturation is created. From that moment on, air masses gain in freedom and begin to move in large but yet in random volumes. The center of the square needs to be reached in order to perceive a change, a fairly clear structure of the currents, distinctly coming from the east and causing a slight refreshment of the skin.
As one approaches the campanile, first by crossing its shadow and then almost reaching the south colonnade, the breath intensifies, orders itself, and probably stabilizes at around 4 m/s. At equal distance from the campanile and the colonnade, a climax is reached, the evaporation is optimal, the breeze buzzes slightly on the eardrums : it becomes an event more than a condition. I stop, it's nice out.

After this point of inflection, a form of calm, probably at very low overpressure, allows the thermoreceptors to reactivate thanks to the highly energetic radiation of the sun, and that, indirect and filtered, linked to the inertia of the Istrian stone floor. In a few short steps, however, tens of thousands of cubic meters of iodized air seem to set in motion. They slide relentlessly from the surface of the water, just there to the south, and permeate into the rectangle of the piazzetta. This convective current, slow, deep and pleasant, is only left behind when overtaking the southeast angle to reach the quay.

From here, the maximum solar exposure, the delicately parabolic shape of the waterfront, the thousands of bodies that run through it and their hundred watts each confer to this little-more-than-a-kilometer-long promenade an infernal nature. The maximum hygrometry also makes transpiration ineffective, further accentuated by the efforts due to a cumulative difference in altitude of about forty meters making it possible to successively cross the eight canals. Thus, if the temperature of the air measured on the platform remains constant, the felt temperature only increases in a curve, which then appears to be exponential. At the end of the course, attempting to temper the body by an increased respiratory volume, an unexpected and sweet disturbance destabilizes. In a form of a primitive reflex, one seeks there and about to identify the origin of the inhaled particles, in fact methyl jasmonate. The small white flowers of a jasmine spread over hundred meters. If they actually have no influence on the body temperature, the sound of the waves, the direction of the breeze, and the particular diffractions of light in the lagoon, they yet constitute a striking diversion to these, suddenly challenging the hierarchy of the senses, in an instant offering to space the quality of a perfume.

May 26, 2016.