Posted by: jeanne | February 17, 2017

a couple of churches in dorsoduro

i slept until almost noon, and in between dreams i heard a gondolier float past the window.  he sang this:  “just one cornetto, give it to me, with mozzarella, from napoli”  i thought it was the funniest thing i’d heard in ages.

it’s spring in venice.  it’s getting well up into the 50s and 60s every day, and only going down to the upper 30s / lower 40s at night.  tonight there’s a heavy fog out.  it sprang up in minutes, between the time we opened the shutters for the night and saw loads of stars – far more than are available in atlanta – and the end of our bedtime reading.  maybe 20 minutes, and now there are repeating fog horns, and i can just barely see the vaporetto stop across the grand canal.  where does the fog come from?  does it roll in?  does it form in place?  does it drop, or rise from the canal?  the silence is much more dense now, and the squaccos are quiet for the moment, or maybe because of the fog.

it’s spring in venice.  their seasons are christmas, and then winter proper, and then carnival, and then lent, and then spring f’real, and then summer.  hopefully we will never be here in summer, and winter is only as cold as it tends to get back home.

it’s spring in venice.  people are going around in shorts already (japanese tourists), holes in the knees of their pants (fashion), without coats or with coats tucked under their arms.

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even our accordion player (who says ciao bello at connor every time he drops a penny into his box) is sporting a new haircut and new duds, senza jacket and hoodie.

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ciao bello

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it’s spring in venice

today we wound our way without maps back to the section of dorsoduro we were in before.  next to the carmini church we had noticed an art school, and jim wanted to check it out, as well as the art supply store in campo santa margherita.

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it’s the old palazzo zenobio, which has a 2-storey ballroom we never got to see.  we got to see the inner courtyard with its pozzo, about a thousand milling students, and the information desk where three different people tried to help us figure out who was in charge.  one passed us to another as they reached their competence in english, but in the end we got all three of them writing down the name of the director, so we could call and find out if an idea we dreamed up has any chance of working.  jim woke up the other day thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if we could organize artists and students to come and paint in venice?  we’ve been thinking about it, and so today we wandered off to make contacts and collect cards and phone numbers for follow-up in a couple of weeks.

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and while jim was off in the art supply store, chatting up the ladies, connor was making friends in the campo.  he learned a valuable lesson there, when one boy came up to the kid on the police bike and pushed him off so he could ride it, wailing like he’d been done a mischief when his dad pulled him off and told him the bike wasn’t his.  connor admitted that sometimes he can be mean like that, and that he really shouldn’t behave that way or  he wouldn’t get a frittelle.  he’s been really good for the past few days.  maybe he’s sick too…

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after that we wandered around dorsoduro, heading for raffaeleraffaele‘s church, which is a centerpiece of a novel we’ve been reading.

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we love this house

but first we ran across the church of san sebastiano.  the outside of the church was wrapped in shrouds and obviously under renovation (loud hammering), but i happened to have stuffed the museum/church passes into my pocket, so we went inside.

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the altar, with its three large veronese paintings, was wreathed in scaffolding, and all we could see were a couple of painted feet and a box of restorer’s paints, but the rest of the church was very interesting, with heavily decorated ceilings and side altars to various saints.  but there was the dyptich by veronese.

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and there was a large sansovino sculpture as well.

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unless i’m misattributing it

in the sacristy, the entire ceiling was veronese.  the lights went up as i entered it, and i was halfway thru taking pictures of everything when i noticed this sign; also a sign that stated the whole area was under videosurveillance.  gulp, oh well.

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the sacristy.  other artists did the paintings on the wall

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connor has been imagining he’s getting fat because of all the frittelle.  i showed him these little porkers as an example of fat

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we wandered around back streets, noticing that the streets of dorsoduro are smaller and less imposing than those elsewhere in venice.  kind of a nice change.

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we ran across what appeared to be (by the sign out front) student apartments, with what appeared to be an actual student smoking a cigarette leaning out of his window.

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then we found the church of the angel raffaele, and it had this cute little grotto of mary in it.  i’m into lighting candles in front of statues of mary these days, on the off chance she’ll grant my wish to come back.

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and because venice is a city of fishermen, raffaele is a favorite saint, and there are more than one references to the story of the angel raphael and toby with a big fish and a dog, which in our novel is a version of a zoroastrian legend, rather than just apocrypha of the old testament.

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the dog’s at the lower right of this huge statue

and then we wandered some more, heading for piazzale roma.  on the way we met a nice lost english couple and i tried to direct them to the frari via piazzale roma, since the way is so well marked, but after misdirecting them in the right direction, they ran across a local student, who said follow me, and off they trotted, blithely assuring us they’d run into us again in about half an hour.  and of course we never saw them again, but ciao anyway.

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people were out in force at the local cafes.  as we got closer and closer to piazzale roma, it became apparent that this was a very secluded part of town.  all locals, no tourists.

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we passed this wonderful house needing to be renovated.

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and this great house in the middle of being renovated.

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and this cool house that’s been renovated recently, and in fact was one of our final choices of a place to stay.  fortunately, the agent scoffed at our request for a discount, and that’s too bad for him, because the ground floor, where would  have been staying, is still boarded up in the middle of carnival.  nyah nyah.

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we were in fact in search of a quite large park (on the map) that we were hoping to spend some of connor’s energy in, but it was behind locked gates, because apparently it’s owned by the customs people, and is a part of venice where cars are allowed and people aren’t

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so we walked on some more, past this wonderful pile of deteriorating grandness, above, and its water stairs, below. just the kind of things jim and i love coming across.

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and other government buildings, this one belonging to the finance ministry, and apparently in charge of tobacco manufacture.

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and then we were back on familiar ground again, and made out way over a bunch of bridges until we got to the popodopoli park again (sorry, but i just never check my spelling these days.  it might well have a ‘u’ in it, as i have spelled it that way in prior posts).

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our obligatory shot of connor enjoying himself on the playground. this one is the one with the flowers (voicepipes)

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not really sure what this represents, but i liked it

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this is going to look interesting once the vines leaf out

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the back of the frari in the afternoon light

we got home as it was getting dark.  workers were loading up their stuff after a day’s work, using lots of gestures and back-seat driving the guy with the crane.

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tea was with frittelle.  when we stopped to see michela and get our little puffs of creme we discovered that the frittelle  had been shoved to one half of the display case, and ice cream had been set up in the other half.  see?  i told you it was spring.

dinner was leftovers.  i had a bath.  i could hear jim and connor playing outside the bathroom door while i read 40 pages or so and topped up the hot water.  connor was racing down the hall and sliding to a stop at our bed, pushing it every time a little farther toward the windows.  jim was doing the dishes.

now they’re all asleep and i’m finishing this up.  the fog is thicker than ever.  i can hear the whine of a boat around the corner, and there’s a vaporetto coming into the stop across teh grand canal.  i can’t see it, but i can hear the engines straining.  and a couple of hours later, the fog begins to lift.  but i’m not going to wait up for it.

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