Posted by: jeanne | March 18, 2015

renee in venice, part two

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the next morning we got up and went down to san marco, because we had never been inside the basilica in our two months here.  we were waiting for someone who’d never seen it before.  kay is allergic to churches, and marie had seen it before, so taking renee in was wonderful.

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she had connor in hand the whole time, i shot a thousand photos (really), and jim walked around looking up.

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it is truly magnificent.

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i’ve seen reviews that say it takes ten minutes to see the place, but whoever wrote the review must have been jaded.  everywhere i looked i saw a painting.

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everything in there was looted from somewhere else, and it’s all magnificent.  the floors,

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the walls,

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the columns,

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the mosaics,

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the ceilings,

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even the furniture.

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and tho it clearly stated no photography, everyone and their cousin were in their with their cameras and cellphones, snapping photos left and right.

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and the guards didn’t seem to care at all.

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we must have been in there for an hour, and when we came out,

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we continued to sightsee the outside of san marco.

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including the pitiful beggars who are merely hamming it up for the crowd.  i’ve seen them at numerous venues all over the city by this point.  they’re a team of beggars from some eastern european country, and they only pretend to be pitiful.  they do a good enough job, however, that jim and connor gave them a fistful of pennies, upon which they got up and marched off to spend their loot.

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once we’d finished oohing and ahing, (which spells strangely),

SONY DSC tourist fare.  i especially love the bearded 3d superman

we sent the boys home.

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they walked, which was long and hard, because they’ve begun taking the ramps down that used to ease your passage over the bridges along the way.  during the winter, they put the ramps up, and at this point they take them down again, so no longer can you roll the stroller up over the bridges from san marco down to giardini, but now you have to lift it, or bump it, and that’s a big strain, especially if you’re jim and connor.  but we didn’t know that.

so renee and i wandered around,

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and she really loved the gondolas, so i took her around the back of san marco where there’s a brisk trade in gondola rides; the tourists queue up for them.

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she even loved the door handles, and remarked that there’s nothing left of this kind of workmanship in dublin anymore.

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near campo santa maria formosa there’s a monastery, and the door was open again, so we walked thru.  i think i was there with kay last time it was open, so you might have seen a photo of it already.  but renee hadn’t and that was the point.

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she was really tickled by the waiters, the sunshine, the well heads, the graciousness of the wide campo.  this one is san stefano, i think.

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even the rather plain buildings, which i’ve also noticed before, set her off.  i do wish i could paint this building, but only the lower part of it is visually interesting.  however, it would be a fantastic place to stay, just for the campo it’s in.

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renee is such a trouper.  her feet and hips were beginning to hurt, but she kept tromping over the bridges, pausing at the top to peer down the canals and exclaim that you can’t turn a corner without coming upon a show stopper.  i agree with her wholeheartedly.

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we happened upon this corner while some men were finishing repairing the street, and they carted their stuff off just as we got there, so we dashed to the corner and gaped at both sides.  the tower is the one visible from i forget where (forgive me), and it leans.  and now we see how they cope with it – by building buttresses right into the canal.

as we were leaving, the repair men came back (hopefully they didn’t notice i’d scratched initials into the wet cement), and asked, ‘touristi?’ and i said ‘si’ and then he muttered darkly, and i laughed.  with renee i’m a tourist and don’t even bother trying to blend in.

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voila the view down the other corner of the canal.

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renee and i continued to wander.

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first i wandered her north of san marco to that great scarf shop, where i indulged in three of them, tho two were on sale, and i got one as a present.

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renee asked the lady where there was an indian clothing shop, and we got a complicated direction to a mess of indian clothes at the back of a furnishings store around the corner from campo san luca, which we never found.

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upon which we stopped into a nice little bar in san luca – black jack – and had two cafe lattes and eyed the owner, who had a nice smile.

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then we wandered over to the bovolo staircase, and then down to the pigment shop – which was open.

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at this point we needed a breather, so we stopped in another bar i’ve been in several times now, and had lunch.  renee picked the sandwich – ham and cheese, tho i was eyeing the veggie sandwich.  she had a short beer and i had a spritz (tastes like red bull).

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and then we walked into the church of san stefano, which is glorious.  it also said no photo, but the hell with that; i took a dozen.

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at this point renee thought we should go to the accademia and look at the art, but i suggested we wait for another day, as it was getting late.

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we meandered toward the vaporetto stop, but meandered properly, as i had forgotten my phone again, and didn’t know precisely where we were.

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we managed to find a church that was a museum of antique instruments, and i photographed the lot, knowing that jim would use them as references in paintings.

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we soon found ourselves on the big shopping street, the calle larga 22 march, and from there it was simple to get to the san marco vaporetto stop, and so back home.

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where we both had a nap.   then i took connor out to the playground, where we’re starting to have some trouble with a pair of slightly older boys who like to push other kids around, and even sass other parents when theirs aren’t looking.

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jim and renee walked up to via garibaldi for a little shop, had some trouble with the greengrocer who refused to sell her the exact apples she wanted but tried to sell her bruised and old apples instead.  but renee is a farmer’s daughter, and wouldn’t have it.  i saw the two of them coming up the street from the bridge, and cut short connor’s interaction with the bullies.

that night grandpa read the bedtime story.

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