We were outside San Zanipolo (San Giovanni e Paolo), visiting Verrocchio's equestrian statue of Colleoni one boiling summer day. Seeking emergency cold fluids, we ducked into Bar Colleoni 100 feet away. As we hydrated in front of a rotating fan, we were treated to throbbing trance music that was blowing out of a vintage stereo system behind the bar. The only other person in the joint was the proprietor, a gentleman in his 70's, calmly cleaning glasses and tidying up.
To be honest, it didn't strike me as odd until Lorraine mentioned it to me. She said that she seen the same thing all over Venice: elderly baristas, storekeeps, and restaurant owners kicking it to the driving sounds of House, Techno, Breakbeat, Jungle and Drum and Bass.
Sure enough, I started noticing it myself. It's not like it was every septuagenerian-plus in every store you walked in. But it was a phenomenon all right. Whenever it happened, Lorraine would shoot me a knowing look. How to explain this? Q-Burns and Orbital where there should be Kenny G and John Tesh.
"Every Venetian is a connoissuer, with a strong bias towards the local product. The guides at the Doge's Palace rarely bother to mention the startling paintings by Hieronymus Bosch that hang near the Bridge of Sighs -- he was not, after all, a Venetian. The Venetian libraries concern themselves assidiously with Venice. The pictures in the Venetian houses are nearly always of Venetian scenes. Venice is a shamelessly self-centered place, in the constant glow of elderly narcissism".
So what does Venetian pride have to do with house music? There is one radio station in Venice: Radio Venezia. And they often program blocks of electronica. I'm betting that if Radio Venezia programmed Chilean marching music, that's what we would have heard in Bar Colleoni that blistering day.