Posted by: jeanne | February 27, 2015

omg ca’ d’oro

i know the title looks like gibberish, but it’s how i feel after taking the afternoon to see ca’ d’oro yesterday.

IMG_5695  carved and painted alabaster altarpiece

as usual, it was spur of the moment.  connor hadn’t had his nap, but it was a nice day, and around 12:30 we decided to hop on the vaporetto and go up to have a closer look.

we took the number 6 vaporetto, which goes down the guidecca canal to the train station and piazzale roma.  jim has never been that way before, but it cuts half an hour off the trip on the number 1, and it’s the way we’ll be leaving when it’s time to leave, so i figured i’d take him that way.


then we got on the number 1 going down the grand canal, and only had to go 5 stops (i think) before getting off at the ca’ d’oro stop.

the tickets cost 9.50 euro (free on the first sunday of each month), and at first we hesitated, but there we were, so we went in and left the stroller in the entrance hall and climbed up to the piano nobile (first floor (second floor in the us)).

i’ve seen reviews of ca’ d’oro that said it wasn’t much, but whoever wrote those reviews didn’t know or care about art or architecture.  baron franchetti, who owned it in the 19th century, amassed an enormous collection of paintings and sculptures, tapestries and frescoes, and they’re displayed all over the first two floors.  in addition, the house itself is amazing, with huge rooms,

SONY DSC SONY DSC (connor’s not even in the big room)


vast ceilings, amazing windows, and the most interesting inlaid floors i’ve ever seen (see below).

i went around and took photos of each and everything on exhibit (except for the actual featured exhibit, which was of costume jewelry – the display cases blocked an amazing collection of frescoes, as if anybody wants to see paste jewels when real art is on the walls.


connor was interested in the steam-emitting radiators (to keep up the humidity), the balconies, the dead guy and the lady,


and the tvs set up to run film clips of all the movies featuring costume jewelry (diamonds are a girl’s best friend, cleopatra, etc).


but i looked at all the art, and jim dawdled looking at all the art.

IMG_5795 IMG_5801 (the lads are looking up at mary there)

it was really impressive art, too, with a van eyck jim has never seen reproduced before,


IMG_5717 IMG_5718 (look at that marble.  i see a face.)




SONY DSC SONY DSC (posthumous bust of titian)

van dyke,





and bernini as a small sample.

SONY DSC  SONY DSC detail of unbuttoned shirt front

SONY DSC meredith, here’s your cue – identify this painting, please

one painting by somebody showed the arsenale canal as it was before it was narrowed by buildings into a small canal.


oh and by the way, jim asked me to take this picture of him near the statue labelled ‘virtue’, as he felt this was as near as he was ever going to come to virtue.  such a joker.


the actual highlight of our day was teh ground floor, where merchants of venice would use as a storehouse.  this one is not to be outdone, with inlaid floors over the entire expanse of first floor (which is something like 150 feet long, from back wall to water door.  we took over 800 pictures, and fully half of them were of the ground floor.  just think of all the work that went into this, and keeps going into it to keep it up.  it gets flooded every time there’s acqua alta, and i’m sure salt water doesn’t do all this magnificence any good at all.


there are a lot of french tourists in town these days.  this kid was looking at the water still in the well.


this courtyard is one jim was painting when we came here.  it’s still in the studio, unfinished.  we just love this courtyard.


this is the length of the ground floor, which spans three widths of this central hall.


i wanted to pry this up and take it home with me.


but couldn’t.  just in case you haven’t read my earlier posts, you can sometimes see the alps from venice.  i still can’t get over it.


to keep you up to speed, the visit to ca’ d’oro was on wednesday, and it’s friday now.  on thursday we had our new friend over with her dog, and spent the morning having really pleasant conversation with the only person we’ve actually made friends with since we’ve been here.  as she says, the venetians are a hard nut to crack.  but that’s okay.  connor makes all the friends for us.

and today we went to burano, and spent the afternoon.  i’ll write about that later.  first i have to process a whole load of photos…


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