France and Italy 2004

Venice, 12-15 June

What can one say about Venice? It was a shambles, with much of it under water or repair. The area around St Mark's Square was infested with tourists, pigeons, and touts selling fake designer handbags. But, for all that, it is a city unlike any other in Europe, with its own atmosphere. Walking the quieter parts in the evening, with the local children playing in the squares, is magic.
  Leaving our car in the Tronchetto car park, we made our way to Hotel Alex, not far from the Frari Church. It was a bit of a distance from a vaporetto stop, but only one canal bridge along the way.
  We may as well start at St Mark's Square. Everyone else does.
  Decoration above the doorway of San Marco Basilica.
  The cross on the main cupola.
  One of the mosaics set in gold tile above the doorways.
  While we were in St Mark's Square, the carabinieri (one of the police forces) was having a graduation parade. All Italian officials have gorgeous uniforms (even the bus ticket inspectors in Rome), but the carabinieri dress uniform is really something special.
  One of the officers seemed a bit doubtful, but who wouldn't want to be a policeman when you can look like this?
  The Doge's Palace, all out from under the recent scaffolding. This was taken from the campanile of San Giorgio across the Giudecca Canal.
  Corner of the Doge's Palace.
  Carvings on the Doge's Palace.
  The drunkenness of Noah.
  Adam and Eve.
  The pelicans.
  We wandered over to Dorsoduro to have another look at Palazzo Zenobio, were we stayed in 2002.
  Nearby was Campo Santa Margherita, our favourite campo in Venice both last visit and this one. Families come out for the passegiata and all the little cafes set out tables. While there are tourists, the place is very much a local square as well, with market stalls and fishmongers setting up at times.
  The Peggy Guggenheim art gallery is something of a rip off, demanding €10 for entry plus another €5 for a very small guide. It's a small gallery, so the prices seem excessive. On a terrace facing the Grand Canal is this bronze statue called Angel of the City. It doesn't show much in the photo, but for some reason one erect part is brightly polished.
  Choir stalls in the Frari Church.
  We wandered around Cannaregio, seeing Tintoretto's house.
  Madonna del Orto was Tintoretto's local church and is therefore well endowed with his paintings.
  The Moor's House.
  The island of Burano is 30 minutes by ferry from the main island of Venice, and is noted for its lace. It also has an interesting townscape and its own leaning tower.
  Nearby is the island of Torcello, which was in its heyday around 1200 when there were some 20 000 people living there. Now there are about 80. The picture shows the church of Santa Fosca, very old, peaceful and moving. Behind is Cattedrale di Santa Assunta, Venice's first cathedral, completed around 1008 and hardly touched since.
  I will finish with a few typical Venice scenes.

From Venice, we went south skirting the lagoon until we reached Ravenna and struck off through the mountains to Lucignano in Tuscany.


Copyright © 2004 by Lynn or Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.