Monday, September 9, 2013

Venice's Top Ten List Completed (9/9/2013)

Monday, September 9, 2013
Today it is catch-up time and whatever is in between!
We tried breakfast at BarCollo, a place we had frequented for evening drinks and use of their free Wi-Fi. The place had young Chinese waitstaff, who appeared to work all day, every day.
Once again we took a vaporetto/water bus along the Grand Canal:
We disembarked at the Ca' d'Oro stop, and visited the Ca' d'Oro's Galleria Giorgio Franchetti. We began on the ground floor, entering a garden with a pomegranate tree:
Then to the loggia at canal level, with mosaic floors:
Cut-stone walls:
And  statuary:
Here we are on the canal:
The courtyard:
Giorgio Franchetti is a baron who collected art and restored the Ca' d'Oro before bequeathing it all to the State. We went up an indoor stairway to the first floor, to see Veneto-Byzantine and Renaissance art. There was a painting of San Sebastian by Andrea Mantegna. Those familiar with Renaissance art can always recognize St Sebastian, as he is always depicted pierced through with many arrows. Franchetti had a "chapel" built to hold this painting.
On the second floor there were Flemish tapestries among the Flemish paintings. Plus a Tintoretto and a Tiziano or two...
Sunlight through the rui/bottle bottom glass windows:
We were able to walk through into Ca' Duoda, where Franchetti's ceramic collection was displayed.
The Biennale exhibit showed pieces of modern art from the collection of Franchetti's grandson, who is also a Giorgio:
View of the Pescharia/Fish Market from the second story loggia:
More Chinglish:
Since we all seem to do it, I am going to call it "Manglish" from now on...
Speaking of China, some of the back alleys in Venice looked like the lane housing in China:
(Eventually we will stop comparing everything to China!)
A vaporetto took us to the San Marcuola stop; San Marcuola (1730-1736, by Giorgio Massari):
The facade was never finished. San Marcuola is Venetian for Sant'Ermacora which is Italian for St Hermagoras.
Shrine at San Marcuola:
Italian Socialist Party:
Hmm, are you a juvenile Larus fuscus/Lesser Black-backed Gull?
Next, the Ghetto. The Venetians tended to give foreigners limited space in which to live and to do business, in order to have better control of their commerce. We have seen the Fondaco dei Turchi, and not seen the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, where the Turks and Germans each had one building for both work and living quarters.
The Jews lived on an island of Venice that also or once housed a geto/copper foundry or contained slag from a foundry (depending on the source). Anyhow, the area where the Jews lived was known as the Ghetto, so it was the first of the Jewish ghettos (instituted in 1516). Within the tiny area, there were five synagogues. First we visited the Museo Ebraica/Jewish Museum. A view of a tiny balcony next door:
The museum contained precious objects, Torah covers, copies of marriage contracts, and items used in Jewish rites and festivals. The Biennale exhibit was Outsider in a Box by Dwora Fried.
Our museum visit entitled us to a tour of three of the synagogues.
Sinagoga Tedeschi/German Synagogue (1529) was on the top floor of the building to the left (the building on the right is the museum):
This synagogue was unique by being trapezoidal in shape. Its decoration was decidedly Venetian.
A couple buildings away, you can see the pulpit area (wood structure) of the Sinagoga Canton/Corner Synagogue (1532):
This synagogue was private for four families. It was unique in that it has eight paintings (albeit very small) depicting events from Egypt to crossing the Jordan River (usually images of living beings are not allowed in a sacred place).
A few buildings farther around the corner is the Sinagoga Italiano/Italian Synagogue (1575):
You can barely see the little dome above the pulpit. Although the Italian group was the poorest among the Jews, they had the biggest space of the three.
Campo Ghetto Nuovo/New Ghetto Square also had a Holocaust Memorial:
Bathing pigeons::
Has Hebrew School let out?
A serious bas relief serves as a playground:
We crossed a bridge into the expanded part of the Ghetto.
A gondolier waiting for business:
Whoa! Military presence even here?
The Sinagoga Levantina/Levantine Synagogue (1538):
And the Sinagoga Spagnole/Spanish (and Portuguese) Synagogue (1580):
Both these synagogues are still active and must be much larger than the others.
We continued towards the Canal di Cannaregio:
Lunch at Ristorante Kosher Gam Gam:
Couscous and vegetables:
Here the bread included thick pitas:
These children must be desperate for a playground!
Another vaporetto/water bus ride, this time to the north of Venice to Fondamente Nove. Here we have a view of Isola di San Michele, the cemetery island:
A line of water taxis:
A boat carrying admixtures:
A side canal:
Nothing is in a straight line!
A squero/boatyard (for gondolas):
Campo SS Giovanni & Paolo/Square of Sts. John and Paul with an equestrian statue (1483, by Andrea del Verrocchio) of Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400-1475):
Colleoni was a condottiero/mercenary soldier who eventually was appointed captain general of the Venetian Republic for life. Upon his death he left a large sum of money to the Republic, and requested that his statue be erected in Piazza San Marco. Since no monuments were permitted in the Piazza, it was placed here instead, across from the Scuola Grande di San Marco/Confraternity of St Mark (1510, by Pietro Lombardo):
We were here to visit the Basilica dei SS Giovanni & Paolo/Basilica of Sts John and Paul (completed 1430):
The Venetians call it San Zanipolo, a contraction of the two names. The basilica is significant because it is the final resting place for 25 Doges and many other VIPs (Venetian Important People).
An encounter with a boat?
We did some zigging and zagging, crossed bridges:
To arrive in Campo Santa Maria Formosa:
We could be in any town in Italy, except that here there is nothing on wheels.
Chiesa di Santa Maria Formosa/Church of St Mary the Buxom (1492, by Mauro Codussi):
Apparently the bishop had a vision in which Mary appeared as a buxom matron, and so he built this church.
The campanile/bell tower is known for the grotesque mask over the door:
The face is thought to a portrait of a victim of the disfiguring Von Recklinghausen's disease:
Parked gondolas:
There was a lot of traffic in this area, with gondoliers having to duck under the bridges:
We stopped for drinks at Bar Royal, receiving the largest glasses we have seen in Venice:
This bar was owned by Chinese, per the conto/bill:
Palazzo Bembo e Boldu:
A Carnevale mask:
Venetian flower boxes:
We approached the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli/Church of Mary of Miracles (1481-89, by Pietro Lombardo) from the rear:
Here is the facade of what is called the Marble Church, an example of early Venetian Renaissance:
Detail of the marble:
Another gondolier waiting for business:
We made our way to Strada Nuova, the new shopping street of Venice. I had already seen the McDonald's located here:
A long vaporetto/water bus ride along the Grand Canal and beyond to the Giardini/Gardens near the Arsenale/Arsenal. These are the main venues for the Biennale. The Gardens contain numerous pavilions for the different countries that participate in the International Art Exhibit. However, the exhibits are closed on Mondays. To me, that's like the World's Fair closing on Mondays...
There was a statue of Francesco Overini, who left on the 1905 Arctic Expedition and never returned:
A birthday party:
Umm, what disease does this one have?
A gymnast statue:
La Partigiana/The Partisan (1964 by Augusto Murer):
The partisans were the members of the Italian resistance movement during WWII, fighting for the Allies in Fascist Italy. This is a memorial to the female partisans. The first statue of a female partisan by Leoncillo Leonardi was destroyed by a fascist bomb in 1961.
OMG, it's a Carnival cruise ship, dwarfing Venice:
We returned to Piazzale Roma via another vaporetto line that took us around the south side of the city. We ended up near the People Mover that takes passengers out to the ferry and cruise ships:
Can we make hust one more stop? Chiesa di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari/Church of the Glorious St Mary of the Friars (15C, took over a century to build, in Italian Gothic style):
The church contains the tomb of sculptor Antonio Canova. Tiziano is also buried here, as well as several Doges. There are a couple major works by Tiziano.
Over a side portal there is a relief described as Mary restraining the Christ Child:
Tonight we had dinner at Da Fiore:
The restaurant is considered the best in Venice, with Mara Martin as Chef de cuisine/Capo cuoco/head chef and her husband Maurizio as Maitre d'/Capo cameriere/headwaiter/host. It is the kind of place that has a sommelier/wine steward.
Our table was just inside from this balcony:
We sat together with our backs to the wall, facing another table with a couple sitting across from each other. A bit awkward as it seemed we had nowhere to look except at the couple dining in front of us!
The meal started with an amuse bouche, a strawberry gazpacho. Kent had Zuppa di fagoiole & vongole/a tasty cream soup of bean and clams. Then we had Gnochetti veneziani con sugo d'astice, pomodoro &basilico/little gnocchi/potato & semolina dumplings Venetian style with lobster sauce, tomato and basil, and Seppie in nero con polenta/cuttlefish in its black ink with (white) polenta/cornmeal porridge or grits. When we asked for the bill, we were first brought petits fours. We considered this our 25th anniversary meal.
Today we saw the last three of the top ten must-see places in Venice: Ca' d'OroBasilica dei SS Giovanni & Paolo, and Chiesa di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Whew!
Tomorrow, Verona.

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