Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday (Venice)...

A convenient way to chart a day in Venice is to pick a church in the distance and wind your way towards it. today, we visited eight. A historical game of connect the dots.

Set off after breakfast under a blue sky. First stop was the nearby Santa Maria del Rosario..."a Rennaisance masterpiece"...on the Giudecca Canal. We had passed this collumned facade many times in previous visits, but never ventured inside. A pleasant stroll down the canal fondamente and a quick jog to the right brought us to the church of San Sebastian..

Two off-the-map churches on the way to our next stop: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione (from the 15th century) and Chiesa di San Raffele Arcangelo (from the 12th century). One of the nice things of these hidden spots is that they allow photographs.

Lunch of hearty pastas at the Impronto Cafe. My tagliatele with mushrooms was wonderful.

Window-shopped to our next destination: San Polo, an ancient church from the 9th century. Another 9th century church followed...the beautiful San Giacomo dall'Orio. The non-descript San Stae was next...our least favorite of the trip.

Our last stop was the hidden gem, San Giovanni Elemosinario. Tucked away in the market approaching the Rialto Bridge. The church was built to blend in with the neighboring merchant buildings, and yet the interior was elaborate and peaceful. A highlight of the church was the faded frescos in a tomb beneath the floor.

Finished the day looking at paper mache masks, handmade marionnetes, and Murano glass. Jeff found a magnificent oil painting from a favorite shop...Scriba, along the walls of the Friari. We have stopped into this shop on every visit.

Relaxed with a beer before dinner. Watched dozens of swallows flitting back and forth above the courtyard gathering THEIR evening meal.

Took a recommendation from a local shopkeeper and ate at the tucked-away, bustling Ristorante San Trovasco, owned by four brothers. My penne alla putanesca was divine. After-dinner drinks (mojitos and bellinis) and tirimisu at Impronto Cafe.

Serene, late night photos of the desolate Monday night city. The Grand Canal was silent except the occasional vaporetto.

No comments: