The segment travel to Venice starting on June 23rd, and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit in the 2022 Biennale Arte, which still needs to be written and posted... hopefully soon
The short concentrated end to the magical 5 visiting days at the Biennale expositions, arrived much sooner then expected, and with that ending, my hubby David arrived.
At 2:00 am , long before dawn, I walked from the hotel to San Marco square, to meet David, who landed in Venice's Airport at midnight, just right before the last AliLaguna public waterway Taxi boat , left the dock.
Luckily he made it to the boat, and as not to have him waste more time in the middle of the night, I guided him to the hotel, through the narrow allies labyrinth, which makes the streets of Venice so charming.
David arriving at San Marco Square at 2:00am
The first text notice which alarmingly opened the next morning was from the Tour organizer, reporting that one of the group members who participated in this past week's tour, tested Covid-positive, upon landing back to Israel on June 28th.
Since then my fingers were crossed , in hope that both David and I stay healthy for the rest of our touring together in Italy.
The 6 Sestiere (districts) of Venice
Visit back the Arsanale complex at the Castelo district
This huge complex is fascinating to visit. However unless one enters the interior, it is hard to see this old shipyard's magnanimity from the exterior, as it is surrounded by high walls.
Half of the neighborhood is taken up by Arsenale.- the naval dockyard
The big wall circumventing the huge old shipyard complex, also prevented from viewing the earliest large-scale, and crane hidden on this industrial enterprises of the pre-industrial era,
Going back to the Arsenale at the Castello neighborhood, facilitated a calm stroll of most authentic tranquil area, much less mobbed with tourists,
Venice Vaporetto - public water bus - to which weekly pass (or less) beforehand is recommended, is the fastest and most convenient way, to be transported across the water lagoon, from place to place.
Vaporetto Water way service
The church below can not be missed in the neighborhood, and as a resident of the west coast San Francisco, I felt obliged to pay a visit
Chiesea di San Francisco della Vinga
But the white marble façade (1564-1570) was a product of Andrea Palladio - an Italian Renaissance architect born in Padua, who was influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, and who was active in the Venetian Republic.
What is today recognised as Palladian architecture evolved from his concepts of symmetry, perspective and the principals of formal classical temple architecture from the Ancient Greeks and Romans traditions
While he designed churches and palaces, he was best known for country houses and villas. 23 buildings were designed in Vicenza and 24 Palladian villas of the Veneto are listed by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site named" City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto."
The small cloister at the church complex
The taken Vaporetto public boat ride to sestiere of Cannaregio, another town's district, from the other side of the Castello district, (Toma Celectia station) faced and passed in the lagoon by :
San Michele -Cemetery island, which is noticed by its high walls and cypresses.
San Micele - Gate to Heaven
Can be reached by regular vaporetto services 41 and 42 to the Cimitero station
The island of San Michele, has been the city's cemetery (cimitero) since 1807.
Formerly 2 islands, which are now joined together, are dedicated to the dead, and are occupied only by churches and long ranks of tombs.
Off at the Vaporetto - Ferruvia (railroad) station, we visited another grand church which is also known for its adjacent beautiful garden- a rare commodity at a floating city in which land is a scarce asset.
Chiesa degali Scalzi - di Santa Maria di Nazareth
The vault of the church nave once housed a major fresco by Giambattista Tiepolo depicting the Translation of the House of Loreto.An Austrian bombardment from the mainland destroyed the frescoes in 1915,
The remains of the fragments of Tiepolo's work are now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
The Garden by the church
I was hoping to also visit the adjacent "mystical" garden, recommended, however such a visit needed to be coordinated beforehand.
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Crossing over on Ponte Degli Scalzi bridge to San Polo District
From the Bridge Ponte Degli Scalzi
Walking through the quint San Polo District
Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista
and a museum open to the public hosting events, conferences, concerts, exhibitions, weddings and gala evenings
The church is dedicated to Saint John, protector of men of culture, writers, editors, and theologians, whose emblem is the eagle, which is present on the arch of the carved marble entrance
"Burn Shine Fly" - Ugo Rondinone
14 nude dancers in contemplative positions are on view as well
The bodies were made with a mix of soil and transparent wax. The soil was sourced from all seven continents.
Near by the Scoula Grande, the Santa Maria Gloriosa Frari Church is encountered
Chiesa del Frari
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - was the church in which we enjoyed a great concert of the "Choeurs au Diapason" with a fantastic opera singer, who is the chorus' director
The views walking through this most beautiful San Polo central district, which was created around the Rialto Bridge, to where to we were heading, are most charming.
The city’s first inhabitants believed San Polo to be a good location to settle in, since the land was higher and never flooded.
Venice’s central market was established here 1097 in the area and still exists to this day.
This loveliest area is packed with stores, markets and religious structures
Reaching the iconic Realto Bridge
Another Vaporetto from the S.an Zacharia station, which makes the way straight to the Hilton hotel across the lagoon, on Giudecca Island, landed us in from of a huge refurbished structure. (line 2 also makes it across with stopping at each station)
The Hilton at the tip off the Giudecca Island
it was once one of Europe’s largest mills. huge flour mill, refurbished to become a unique hotel, as of 2007. The structure occupies the entire tip of the island's western corner
The views from the the hotel across the canal toward Dorsoduro district
which is also a home to the University of Venice, where majority of the city's university buildings are and where most students prefer to live, as well as few churches.
Chiesa dei Gesusti - an 18th-c Dominican church
Originally called “Spina Longa” due to its fishbone-like shape, the Giudecca is the largest and closest island to Venice, from which it is separated by the broad and deep Giudecca Canal.
The quite large areas and the general peacefulness of the island also made it popular among religious communities with seven monasteries being established with patrician families, who built palaces with lovely gardens and allotments. Later these areas were converted into warehouses, barracks, prisons, factories and workers’ quarters, and rejuvenated again in the past 2 centuries.
Basilica Santa Maria della Salute
a Roman Catholicchurch and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro district of the city, on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal,
Walking the pedestrian quay, which runs the length of its Venice-facing side of this, now renewed residential neighborhoods was most enjoyable.
Gondolas - an Engineering Enigma - David's input
The Condola Makers - Book
A single gondolier standing at the rear of this 1/2 ton boat with 6 adults my equipped only with a single long hand-crafted oar can move the boat to the front , reverse ,and maneuver it sharp corners , while expending the same energy as walking , as determined by various physiological measurements .
The key is in the Farcole.
This is the shofar/elk horn like structure which gives the oar a counter-force in every direction the Gondolier rows as in the picture below .
A gondola must be rowed by a single gondolier to maneuver the narrow waterway passages and he has to be at the rear to see which direction the boat proceeds.
The selection and drying of the wood is a process over years , and the design, chiselling and sanding of the Farcole is an “ engineering art “ that defies engineering. ( David is an engineer) .
There were 20,000 gondolas in Venice 100 years ago . Today only 500 are left and the professional Gondolier Guild has only 4 makers , mostly of old lineages .
The above is a synopsis of David's insights from a book our dear friend Reuven Itelman recommended “ The Gondola Maker “ by Laura Morelli ; and several “ Engineering Studies “ of Gondolas studied .
The Gondolier mooring station right by the hotel we stayed
Hotel Palace Bonevecchiati - Off San Marco Square
A contemporary design hotel in the historic heart of Venice.
To be continued...