Friday, April 16, 2010

Venezia, day 2 – museums and churches

In Venice there are lots of little narrow calli.

They open into little squares (campielli) - very pretty, and all the bridges too. The wrought iron and windows really draw me, including these little shrines that appear all over the city.

Obviously, as this was my research trip, I have a lot of pics of windows and palazzi (which will amalgamate into my fictional palazzo). This is one of them in the San Polo area.

After wandering through the Rialto, we visited the Museo di Storia Nationale (natural history museum, which was beautifully presented. I was really impressed by the dinosaur footprints set under glass in the floor as well as the remains of an 11-metre long ancestor of the crocodile, and a rather gruesome mummy.

The museum is housed in the old Turkish warehouse (Fondaco dei Turchi).

Ruskin campaigned for its restoration in the 1850s and apparently very little is original. I rather liked it, though. Especially this window.

Stopped for lunch near the church of San Polo (son has decided that he likes pizza, provided it's proper Italian pizza), then finally my research team let me buy a chorus pass. The church of Santo Polo (dating to the 9th century) was beautiful, full of bas-reliefs and lots of paintings: very different from a medieval English church (where the paintings tend to be wall-paintings and much paler, and obviously most of the colour comes from the glass - here, it's the shape of the leads that's interesting but no staining, probably because that would interfere with the colours of the paintings inside.

Then to Santa Maria Glorioso dei Frari. Son tiptoed over to tell me that he was blown away by the architecture.

Titian's Assumption is over the altar here and there are also monuments to Canova, and to Titian.

Oh, and another window, because I can't resist it. This is Venetian 'bottle glass' - I guess the nearest to English glass, tinted very pale purple and rose and green and gold. (This doesn't stuff up my book, though - it just stops me making a really, really elementary mistake!)


Jan Jones said...

Love that bottle-glass window!

And oh yes... real Italian pizza...

Kate Hardy said...

That was from the Doge's Palace, Jan - which, arrgh, we didn't have time to see! (We really need to go back...)

Proper, non-soggy pizza. Apparently, the pizza in Venice isn't as good as it is in the Bay of Naples. Roll on July, I say: and son is REALLY in for a treat!

Caroline Hartin said...

I've been loving your blog this week! It feels as if I've been on holiday with you. I went to Venice in 1984 but only for a day trip which was included in our package tour at the time. Didn't get to see everything of course - but I remember it being a great day out. Like DD I enjoyed looking at the masks. Caroline x

Shirley Wells said...

Ah yes, the Bay of Naples. When we visited our friend there, he insisted we have 'real' pizza. Mmm.

That bottle-glass window is amazing!

Jane Holland said...

What news on the Rialto?

Sorry, couldn't resist. There'a a rather swish poetry magazine called the Rialto, been going for years. I only ever managed to get one poem into it though, back in the nineties. Sniff.

These photos are just lovely. They give a real sense of atmosphere. Thanks for sharing!

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - glad you're enjoying it. A day would be beautiful, but three nights was fab (still need to go back, though!).

The masks were stunning.

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - we have something to look forward to, then!

That window was in the Doge's Palace. Loved the brickwork there, too. It's like a wedding cake with intricate, lacy icing.

Kate Hardy said...

Jane - LOL - and if I remember rightly, that magazine's based in my neck of the woods.

Glad you're enjoying the photos. More next week!