Monday, May 19, 2014

127. A Venetian Memory

Well two weeks living in Mestre and visiting Venice just about every day ( just 20 minutes away by bus ... ) have flown by and now it's time to think about moving on ... but before I do, here are a few memories of this fascinating canal city ...


 Lunch by the Grande Canal ...

 The water buses plying the larger canals ...

 

 Enormous cruisers gliding up the lagoon 
and swamping the city with thousands of pesky tourists ...

 Don't know who this guy is ( maybe Biggles ? )
but I love the look on his face -
maybe he saw that liner coming in ...

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection ...
This was the only contemporary gallery I visited - a stunning property on the Grande Canal,
but the collection of mid-20th century modern American artworks left me wanting - plus the galleries were packed with noisy schoolchildren and tourists, so it wasn't a comfortable experience ...

 The beautiful Grande Canal ...

 ... so very Italian ...


 The Gran Teatro la Fenice - Venice Opera House
- not very imposing on street level ..

 ... but quite stunning inside ...
... this was the only pic I managed before the guard pulled me up 
and said I had to pay an extra fee if I wanted to take pictures ... !!!

The over-whelming crowds of tourists ...

 .. then at last - an almost deserted street ...

 The joy of discovering sunny piazzas-
a great spot for a quiet lunch in the shade of an umbrella ...

 Lots of art groups capturing the scenes ...

 Mysterious doorways at the end of narrow alleyways ...

 ... bored tourists being gondoled ...

 My favourite picture ...

 Silly tourists again ...
The narrow canals away from the Grande Canal are quite dirty and smelly - 
so I can only imagine what would happen to one of this lot if they fell in ... 

 The beautiful Compo Santi Giovanni e Paolo ...

 pretty amazing interior ...

  and deserted of tourists 
( except this one ... ) ...

Then a ferry ride across the Lagoon to the Lido ( beach ) di Venezia Island

 Freshly ranked but deserted on this cool Spring morning ...

 
 I should imagine the scene would be quite different when the weather heats up ...

 I love this modern apartment building on the Lido ...

 Beautiful quiet streets on the Lido ...


 Parking lot at the ferry on the Lido ...

Then back to Venice ...

The extraordinary Santa Maria della Salute ...

Beginning in the summer of 1630, a wave of the plague assaulted Venice, and until 1631 killed nearly a third of the population. In the city, 46,000 people died whilst in the lagoons the number was far higher, some 94,000. Repeated displays of the sacrament, as well as prayers and processions to churches had failed to stem the epidemic. 

Echoing the architectural response to a prior assault of the plague (1575–76), the Venetian Senate on October 22, 1630, decreed that a new church would be built. It was not to be dedicated to a mere "plague" or patron saint, but to the Virgin Mary, who for many reasons was thought to be a protector of the Republic. It was also decided that the Senate would visit the church each year. On November 21 the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, known as the Festa della Madonna della Salute, the city's officials parade from San Marco to the Salute for a service in gratitude for deliverance from the plague is celebrated. This involved crossing the Grande Canal on a specially constructed pontoon bridge and is still a major event in Venice.

A lone flag for peace ...

... and a banner stating -
The City of Venice Condemns Homophobia and Transphobia ...


The crowded Rialto ...

The main entrance to the Venice Hospital ...



... yes they are even in Venice ... !!! ...

Heavy transport ala Venetian style ...

... anyone for a fake Venetian mask ...

 
Then back to Mestre and the one-tracked trams ...
( ... a centre wheel runs on the track, 
while large rubber tyres on either side keep it upright !!! 
and very quiet ... )

And there it is - 

and my chariot waiting to whisk me off to my next adventure ...

Stay tuned ...