Posted by: jeanne | March 30, 2015

after the rains

it has rained for three days here in venice.  one day it was even blowy, and not very pleasant when i had to go up to via garibaldi for necessary groceries.  mainly we stayed inside for three days.  connor went ballistic.

but finally it quit.  here’s photo of the storm after it passed us.  we’re the yellow dot in the center.  the reason i’m posting it is because the tail of the storm, over turkey and into russia, is twisted, like ringlets.  i’ve never seen such a large scale pattern like this before.


so with the pent up demand for exercise and food, we went to lido and joined the rest of the venetians who were also feeling pent up. connor especially.  we dutifully checked out the fish babies, who look similar to shadows in the water, but that was because the lagoon was very stirred up, the water was very choppy, and the wind was still pretty strong.  they were all clustered around the pier supports, anyway.


but you could see the alps again.  it’s funny, on clear days you can’t see any of the mountains, perhaps from glare on the water.  but when it’s overcast in venice and clear over the mountains, they shine.  the dull whilte near the rooftops is actually fog traces, but the shiny white stuff is new snow over the italian alps.  beautious.


it was so wonderful to have the sun out, even if there was this cloud overhead that just wouldn’t quit.  and the plants are more out than ever, with our backyard greening up really fast, such that we’re quickly losing sight of the nice ladies across teh courtyard who put their laundry out EVERY SINGLE DAY.


jim and connor ran on ahead home while i took photos.  the blue of the sky underneath the trees was spectacular, tho it doesn’t even show up on this picture.  oh well.

next morning, we decided we were going to take that walk thru castello that we were planning when we thought the rain would stop after the first day.  so we put on our water boots, just in case the sunshine was a lie, and took off down to the arsenale vaporetto stop, and took off into the interior, where there’s no point having sunglasses because the sun don’t shine down those narrow little streets.  only when you get into a campo do your eyes start to stream from all the bright sunshine.  when we got off the boat, there was a small crowd of young adults (i feel so old) dancing and clapping while one of their own played the violin.  connor was entranced, and came away asking where his violin was (because someone gave us a kid’s violin before we left to come to venice, and all it needs is a bow and strict instructions not to wreck it using it as a gun).


the water in the canals was really clear, and low enough to expose the shellfish that cling to the walls just below the surface.  you can also see the silt and seaweed, and please do notice the door rotted out at the bottom.  that’s what i love about venice.  the water really is that green all the time, and clear enough to see the bottom when the tide is out.

in this case we ducked down the calle del dose and went first to campo bandiera e moro, which has a large bush in it that the kids have decorated for easter, with their own drawings and sentiments.  using large sheets of paper that made it look like ghosts fluttering in the bush.  since the sun was out, the campo was crowded with people sitting in the sun, wearing jackets and hats, but the jackets were open, and some brave souls were in sleeveless shirts.  a few young adults had spread a cloth out and were eating a picnic – strawberries and wine with some other things to eat along with them.

once we passed them, we turned left down salizada san antonin, my newest favorite street in castello.  it’s a shopping street, and has several upscale craft stores, that indian store i have gone into several times, and banco lotto no.10, which i’ve written about before.


i think i’m going to do this window next, or something very like it.  extremely small scale, to balance the huge 20×30 painting i’m just finishing up now.  we’ll see.


we stopped to see these wonderful ceramic decorations in ceramiche artistiche questoeoueo, and then spent much of our evening discussing whether we would buy one, and how much would be too much.  when we stopped by today on the way home from the art studio, we found out.  200 euros is in fact too much.  about ten times too much, but if i had the money, it would be worth it.  the window is from the doge’s palace, and the face is a traditional mask.  it would have hung in our bedroom.


then we went right down the street to this great shop selling hand printed t-shirts, and jim decided he liked the one of the rat the best.  this afternoon i ducked in and got him one.  they’re 15 euros, which is more like it.


then we went over to banco lotto no.10.  i’d already tried on the green dress, and it was too small, unfortunately, but when we went by this afternoon there was a red jacket in the window, in the same style, only shorter, and larger, and when i walked in and told the lady i wanted to look at it, she got as far as unwrapping the belt before i asked her quanto costa, and when she told me due cento something i blanched and patted her repeatedly on the arm, saying tropo caro and gulping.  waaa.  but face it, i didn’t need it yesterday, so i won’t need it tomorrow.


then we went along the canal up to calle furlani and the scuola di san giorgio.  i was fascinated with some workmen dumping rubble from a wheelbarrow into a boat, and a guy with a crane moving it around to make room for more, and stood to take some pictures.


to avoid jim’s having to wait, i told him to duck into the scuola and have a quick look before backing out to avoid the 5 euro price, but it was so dark in there that he couldn’t see anything.

while i was waiting for him, there were all these school kids collected, either before seeing the carpaccios or after, and when they saw me they made a fuss.  first there was one kid who waved, then three, and the next shot was a dozen.  so infectious.


we turned down calle furlani and found this wonderful house.  there’s also a hostel on that street, and these two american girls came by and found it. it wasn’t marked or anything, so they were ringing bells at random, and finally found it.

at the end of the calle, we turned left and came into campo delle gate, which has a huge greenspace right next to it.

SONY DSC he loves those fountains

unfortunately it’s behind a gate, but fortunately the gate has a hatch in it, unfortunately above eye level, but fortunately cellphones can function as periscopes, so i got to see the whole thing, and take pictures.  it took three photos to encompass the breadth of it.  what a wonderful place to have a house.


jim noticed an ingenious poster for a political fund raiser, disguised as a concert of chamber music by brahms and schumann.  he wants to vote for whomever is running on such a classy bill.


after that we turned up salizada de le gate and then into salizada san francesco.  it was at this point that i realized i had been here several times before, once in the rain when i was aching for a coffee and pastry but unwilling to go into what was obviously a local bar filled with locals who wouldn’t take kindly to a hapless tourist.

SONY DSC different bar

i must admit now that i must have been depressed, because the bar looked wonderful now that it was warm and sunny.


connor told us for the thousandth time that he wants an iron man when he found this shop.  fortunately it was closed.

but the very next store we passed was la beppa, which the folks at venice printmaking studio told us was where venetians get their art supplies.  it looked like a home goods store in the front, but there were art supplies featured in one window.  what caught jim’s eye were the company logos – fabriano, arches, miameri.  we went in.  it was glorious.

SONY DSC artist’s mannequin painting a titian

art supplies, craft supplies, household items.  a whole bunch of dry pigments, as much as the pigment shop in san marco we also passed a warehouselike bar – decorated with great wall murals – that was evidently a private function space, because we saw a bouncy house thru the windows as we passed, and stopped in for that coffee (because connor was acting up at this point), only to be told that it was a party, which started at 4, and we were welcomed to come back but that no, he couldn’t play in the bouncy house just yet, because it hadn’t started.  my mistake was taking him in with me to ask, because for the next half hour he wanted to go back to the party.


i’m afraid i’m drawing a blank about this little courtyard, but it sure was cute.


and this guy is about 6″ high, and over the shop windows of a closed shop on i think salizada san francesco.  the upper floor is also very nice, but i was taken by the lion.

then we were up and over the bridge, and into the extensive campos of the church of san francesco di vigna.


i told jim to duck in, and waited outside with connor, but that didn’t work.  first connor followed him in, and then i heard whoops from inside the church, so i rushed in and parked the stroller behind the door.

it’s a wonderful church, with loads of good art inside.  they were decorating it for palm sunday, and the guys up on the ladder draping the cross were humming church music.  they were also using the vaccuum cleaner on the carpet in front of the altar, so i guess allowances must be made.  connor didn’t look so sinful anymore.


that is, until he started running around, scuffing his boots on the floor to make them squeak, and doing antic things.


nice marble, huh?


this might be a veronese, i’m not sure.  i took so many pictures.


the problem with churches made of marble is that they’re ten degrees colder than the outside.  these space heaters were all thru the aisles.  like an outdoor patio in a cafe.

connor eventually got tired and sat with me while we waited for jim to cruise thru all the artwork.


and then we were out and around the rest of the church grounds, and ran into this nun, who adored connor, and gave jim a candy to give to connor.  you can’t see the boy jumping up and down with excitement; it doesn’t show up on still photographs.  but he was so happy, and ate that thing for twenty minutes.  it had a liquid center; the nun warned us about it.  it was liquorice, i could smell it later, when connor started complaining that his hands were sticky.


thanks, sister, ora pro nobis to come back to venice, okay?


and then we went around to campo della celestia, and found a couple of great houses to photograph, and these teenaged girls on skateboards who also had a soccer ball and were willing to kick it around with connor while we took photos.  the skates broke apart, and the girl used them like fancy roller skates.  if only i were younger and foolisher.  split skates.


then we went over a bridge to campo santa ternita, which was equally photogenic, so we spent some time there, as well.


connor was beginning to get stroppy again, and still talking about going back to that party.


see, lovely canal.


and lovely jumble of rooflines in the distance.


and lovely opportunity to photoraph jim.


and connor.


and then we were down calle dona and calle magno, and found this patron saint of porcupines on a wall.  i guess the spiny creatures don’t show up well in the photo.


once in campiello due pozzi, i saw this great house with a great set of bells.


and a great line full of laundry across the campo.


and connor found another well head, which he duly went around about a dozen times while we took photos.


and i took photos of jim taking photos.


it being the week of easter, the guy has a giant easter egg in his trolley.  i love it when the neighbors get together to chat in the middle of the street.


and stop for drinks at the local bar.  i took loads of photos, hopefully they didn’t mind.


i’ll do a painting one of these days…


and connor made a friend with this older boy and his dog.


then we made it to calle del bastion and the little campo where the old guy makes parts of boats, if not entire boats.  you can’t really see it in the photo, but he brought out a pair of wooden vices, while his friend explained how to get somewhere to the two tourists with rolly bags on the left of the photo.  just go straight.


but we didn’t go straight, we went around the walls of the arsenale to ramo primo de la pergola and around to the arsenale gates, where jim declared he had to stop for a coffee and something to eat.  usually that’s my line, so i directed him to the nearest cafe, where they had hot chocolate, connor had a chocolate cookie, and jim had an apricot croissant.  i had caffe latte.  connor made friends with the waitress, who spoke enough english to dote over him, but not enough to understand how badly he wanted to go climb on the lion.  i explained as best as i could in my broken italiano.


and then connor was out to pose by the big lion until the guard came out to chase him off.  and then he went around to all the other lions and i chased him off before he could show up on the security cameras and excite more imperial attention.

and then it was time to go, and so he ran back to give the waitress a big hug.


this courtyard was clanged shut in our face the last time we went down ramo della tana, but this time the gate was open again, so i pushed it further open with an awful squeal, and took a decent shot.  the gate squealed, not i.


we’ve taken about a hundred shots of this bridge, but this time the sun was setting on it, so we took one more.


and as the sun set in the southwest, connor visited his favorite lion, in the gardens of the biennale, and tried to climb the fence.  but he’s such a neophyte that he didn’t notice he was just cruising along it instead.  there’s a photo of my shadow, in case you’re one of those who keep clammoring for a picture of me in all these blog posts.  there you are.  stop complaining now.



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