Last Full Day in Venice

Monday, November 9th.
Linda got us up at the crack of dawn to start final day in Venice.

We started with a vaperetto ride at 9am to the Rialto, shrouded in a deep fog. The city of water became extra ethereal….magical.


Not many rides for today’s Gondaliers


In search of the fish market we were pretty disappointed to discover that it isn’t open on Mondays.

In search of the fish market we were pretty disappointed to discover that it isn’t open on Mondays.

But we were rewarded with some beautiful views into the produce marketplace.

Then on to the Academia where we took a truncated audio tour. It was good but left most of us wanting more info at each stop.

The Academia is a beautifully restored building, large primarily pre-Renaissance and Renaissance paintings and all work done almost exclusively by Venetian artists. One contemporary exhibit (M. Merz was the artist) that was more political statement than visual art, not to all of our tastes.

The favorite piece: A small Bellini painting of the heads only of Mary and two female saints, glowing against a black background.

A short walk took us to the Peggy Guggenheim palazzo and collection which was featuring a Jackson Pollock mural she commissioned for her NYC townhouse and later gave to the University of Iowa (we have to find out why). The mural was a break-through piece for Pollock, leading directly to the drip paintings for which he is best known.

The small gallery and an adjacent corridor contained works that influenced Pollock, including photos by Barbara Morgan and Gjon Mili, and noted the many artists he influenced in turn. A painting by one of those, Robert Motherwell, hung opposite the mural, supposedly in conversation with it. Didn’t see the relationship but since it was one of Motherwell’s elegies to the Spanish republic, We were just glad to see it. Unfortunately we couldn’t take photos in this gallery. Marsha even got yelled at for standing too close to the wall.

The collection contains many fine works now classics but commissioned and/or purchased by Peggy Guggenheim when they were not. (Too few for Linda) photos of Peggy and the works in situ when she lived in Venice provided some sense of her personality and the place before it became a museum. Now on Linda’s to do list, find out more about Peggy Guggenheim!. Her favorite piece: headboard designed by Alexander Calder for Peggy. She was friend, patron and/or lover to so many artists of her time.

Then on to the Frari church, the only gothic cathedral in Venice and built of brick rather than the typical stone associated with this style. Stone would have made the building too heavy for the Venetian ground. Many large paintings and sculpture, several by Titian including the main painting over the alter. All in excellent condition. We downloaded a brief Rick Steve audio tour which gave good background info on the most well known pieces.

The Rialto bridge at night….

5:30 and time to head home but first a stop for a quick stroll through the Rialto shopping district. Several vaperetto rides today, including the one back to Adel’s and we think we are maybe just beginning to uAfter recharging briefly, out to find a place to eat. Wound up at Trattoria Antica Mola, an apparently popular local place with no frills food prepared with care. On the same block as last night’s restaurant, which is closed on Mondays. Home at 10:30. We leave tomorrow for the Sada Sat’s.

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2 Responses to Last Full Day in Venice

  1. Don Stoll says:

    I found myself laughing out loud at your response to not finding any fish at the closed fish market, remembering how many times we have done something similar and the feeling of utter helplessness at the moment of realization. There is a wonderful, albeit crude and vulgar, comic novel titled The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore that combines the characters and plot lines of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Othello into a clever and laugh-out-loud story set largely in Venice of the early 16th century. When you return, you might consider extending your Venetian experience by taking a look at it.

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