Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday (Venice)...

After a relatively early breakfast, headed to San Marco and the bell tower (campanile) to beat the crowds. Morning above Venice is spectacular. The terra cotta roofs, the grey church domes, and the striking blue lagoon are all dramatic, yet softer than in the afternoon (and midday must be totally avoided). Descended the tower, and the crowds had arrived! Headed for less populated parts of the city and found the elusive Santi Giovanni e Paolo church (Saint John and Paul). This church was ordered by the Vatican (Dominican order) in the 13th century, begun in the 14th century, and completed in the 15th century (the plauge and all delayed things). Afterwards, crossed Venice to visit the Fenice opera house, which was meticulously reconsturcted after a fire devastated the famous structure in the mid 1990s. The new building is breathtaking. Lunch (again) on the Santa Maria de la Salute steps (yummy panini). Visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Picasso, Calder, Kadinsky, Chagall, Pollack, Rothco, Legere, Man Ray), which is displayed in her former Grand Canal-front home. Chris and Sherie arrived from Rome, so we met them in San Marco. Tasted traditional Bellinis at Harry's Bar on the waterfront. Dinner, gelato, and mojitos in S. Margherita. Walked back to the hotel unded a bright moon in a cloudless sky.

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