Ancient sagesDwight Peck's personal Web site

Venice street scenes, 2010

Oh, and the Lido, and Chioggia. And Torcello.


We wanted to go to Venice again. Paintings, history, decaying architecture, etc. But we can't afford it anymore. So we went to the Lido.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

30 May 2010, we've been down the Pendolino train under the Simplon Pass to Milan and thence to Venice St Lucia station, thence by vaporetto down the Grand Canal and out to the Lido, between the Venice lagoon and the Adriatic Sea.

And now we're searching out the Villa Ines at about happy hour.

The Villa Ines, a family-run renovation project, for us at this time of the year is half the price of anything we could find in downtown Venice.

Villa Ines gardens and very cute kids

Villa Ines -- our corner room was not capacious, but it was fitted out to a very high standard, WiFi, whirlpool bathtub, plasma TV (no time for that), excellent breakfast in the room, and delightfully friendly hosts.

The Adriatic side of the Lido -- Aschenbach territory. Charming!

Choose your own umbrella. The Dirk Bogarde/Visconti 'Death in Venice' film is harrowing -- filmed at the old Hôtel des Bains just next door. (Mann's harrowing story is also set at the Hôtel des Bains.)

The Lido has its own canals.

Back to the Lido port the next day for some sightseeing downtown

Venice just across the lagoon. St Elena's gardens at the near end are 10 minutes off from the Lido, St Mark's another 5 or 10 minutes onward.

Venice

Extravagant yachts along the shoreline near the Arsenal

Kristin down memory lane -- commemorating childhood visits to the Hotel Gabrielli on the Riva degli Schiavoni

Venice street scenes

Closer to St Mark's and we're starting to run into the crowds

Venice street scene, and another Leaning Tower

Vittorio Emmanuele statues coming up, be warned.

Kristin struck with monumental shock and awe. Ettore Ferrari cast these awful things in 1885 in honor of Italy's first king, Vittorio Emmanuele. Thanks for that.

The Bridge of Sighs, built in 1602 to convey prisoners from the courts in the Doge's Palace (left) to the prison on the far side of the canal. The advertising hoardings are more recent. Supposedly it was our old friend Byron who gave it its evocative name. The guy who designed it had an uncle who made the Rialto bridge (conveniently named Antonio da Ponte).

Perhaps, if you need a new watch, this would be the place to come. I get mine at the Interdiscount chain shops for 19 francs. This is the Ponte della Paglia, or 'Bridge of Straw', which is briefly disconcerting but derives from the ancient fodder market here.

Kristin scoping out the Doge's Palace. The huge babe with the sunglasses on the far wall is recent.

San Giorgio Maggiore from the gondola stop

Riva degli Schiavoni (apparently refers to the Croatian Slav merchants who once congregated here)

St Mark's and the campanile from the water's edge

Hastening to keep up with Kristin through the throngs of happy shoppers

"Out of our price range"

The Piazza San Marco and Miss Sixty. We're headed for the Museo Correr (a first time for me).

Kristin and the Museo Correr

"Come along, now. This will be fun."

Excellent museum, the Correr, lots of nice things, and the Archaeological Museum (the upper floors on the right) is connected, both price-wise and through connecting doors. All extremely efficient.

The Birdman of S. Marco

The Basilica of St Mark's, and more hoardings. It's excellent, one of the world's best Byzantine thingies, but the line is long and we've been there and done that fairly often, so perhaps another day . . . .

Meanwhile, round the back, Kristin spies Tetrarchs.

And here they are, the Tetrarchs. The Emperior Diocletian had the brilliant idea of dividing the Roman Empire, for administrative purposes, in half (in A.D. 293), with an Augustus and a deputy Caesar to rule over each part of it. Good idea, lasted twenty years. This porphyry statue from Constantinople (modern Istanbul) was ripped off by the "Christian" Crusaders and brought here in 1204.

We're inside the Doge's Palace now (on the same ticket as the Museo Correr, is that cool?).

San Giorgio from the Doge's Palace

Courtyard of the Doge's Palace. Reminiscent of my old flat in Gimel, but we didn't have all the arches.

The view out the Bridge of Sighs on the way to the prisons (sigh!)

Unsubtle staircase

His Dogeness trod these steps everyday in the performance of his doge duties.

The Bar Americano in St Mark's. (Harry's Bar is just down the way.)

Venice street scene

Window-shopping. There are many signposted routes between St Mark's and the Rialto bridge, not all of them direct, but all of them leading past the expensive shops.

Ready for anything

Venice street scene

A kiosk. No newspapers, just gewgaws.

A slender building. We're just wandering about, the best way to see Venice if you've got a little time.

Venice street scene. Somewhere in Venice there is a place called "Three Bridges" where five bridges intersect. We report, you decide.

Monks frequently look for bargains on gothic metal music CDs. And manga.

We're wandering through the Canaregio district on the way to the Ferrovia, to try to book our way out of here at the end of the week. Can't be done, they tell us that the computers in Switzerland must be down, come back later in the week. The computers in Switzerland are down!!!!

Venice street scene

Kristin on the hunt for churches, the weirder the better

Another dead lady under glass. That's fairly weird.

"Smart had one good idea and that idea was stupid." . . . Right you are.

Venice, etc., in 2010


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 25 May 2010, revised 15 October 2013.


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