Of course everyone visits Plazza San Marco on every trip. Right now, there is hoarding around the bell tower, which hides the high water mark of 4 November, 1966. At high tide, the waves wash over the walkways even now. A glass of sparkling prosecco wine at famous Florian’s on the plaza was worth the high price. As a band played nearby, I dreamed of masked and costumed carnival revelers in bygone days.
The novel also led me to the Cannareggio area that includes the Jewish Ghetto, and to the Madonna dell’Orto 14th century church with its original herringbone brick paving in front. Rebuilt in the 15th century, this is the most complete surviving Venetian Gothic façade. The church contains paintings by Tintoretto, who is buried there. The Last Judgement is one of his early masterpieces; it horrified Miss Garnet at first. The Palazzo Mastelli, just across the small canal, is named ‘Del Cammello’ for the high relief of a man leading a camel that ornaments the façade. It signifies that this was the home of a rich family of merchants from the Peloponnesus, who arrived in Venice in 1112.
Back across the Grand Canal is the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and Orientale. I enjoyed seeing canvases by Klimt, Kandinsky and Chagall as well as masterpieces of 20th century Italian art. Enrico Borbone began the large collection of Oriental art here and a video on lacquer application was interesting. Nearby, the Palazzo Mocenigo was the residence of an old and famous Venetian noble family. It now houses a centre for the study of the history of fabrics and costumes, some of which are on view. My love here, though, were the furnishings, paintings and Murano glass chandeliers throughout.
Meals are always part of the enjoyment of being in Italy and restaurants in Venice are plentiful. I had a truly artistic lunch salad at La Rivista on Rio Tera A. Foscarno, close to the Canale della Giudecca. It was built on red and green lettuce leaf cups with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers, topped with walnuts, pomegranate seeds and white cheese cubes with a balsamic reduction painting the top. Later, at the corner by the canal, the long lineup indicated a popular gelato stand: my favourite was dark chocolate flavoured with chili.
It was reluctantly that I bid beautiful Venice good-bye. I thank Salley Vickers for introducing me to new sites and providing some wonderful memories and I wish you all many happy return trips to this watery wonderland.
A few details:
- Miss Garnet’s Angel by Salley Vicker, 2000, is published in paperback by Harper Collins. Available via amazon.ca and for more information visit http://www.salleyvickers.com/pages/books/miss_garnets_angel.htm
- For tourism information for Venice log onto www.turismovenezia.it/eng/
- Hotel Tiziano, Dorsodura, 1873, Venice, Italy 30123, e-mail [email protected], www.hoteltizianovenezia.it
- A glimpse of Tintoretto’s ‘The Last Judgment’ can be found at www.allpaintings.org/d/69931-1/Tintoretto+-+The+Last+Judgment.jpg
Here at TTS we love receiving Nancy’s travel stories; she always travels with an interesting, cultural theme. Thanks Nancy!