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France and Italy, 2004


What can one say about Venice? It's a shambles, with much of it under water or repair. The area around St Mark's Square is 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.

We may as well start with St Mark's Square: everyone else does. Here are some views of the tower and the basilica that are perhaps a little less hackneyed than usual.

Above the doorway


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.

Although one of the officers seemed a bit doubtful. Still, who wouldn't want to be a policeman when you can look like this?

When we were in Venice in 2002, we stayed at the Palazzo Zenobio but did not get a picture of it. This time we rectified that omission.

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.

And another palace, all out from under the recent scaffolding. This was taken from the campanile of San Giorgio across the canal

The Peggy Guggenheim art gallery is something of a ripoff, 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.

This statue of a moor is on the side of a building tucked away in the Cannaregio district, well away from the tourist throngs. It is next to Tintoretto's house

Madonna del Orto, Tintoretto's local church which is therefore well endowed with his paintings.

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.

Back on the main island, here is a typical Venitian streetscape.

And, of course, some photos of Venice's most expensive public transport.



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This page last modified Sunday, 30 December, 2012 4:12 PM
All photographs copyright © 2004 by Lynn or Nick Booth. No reproduction without written permission.