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Franco's favourite ... Venetian sightseeing (plus transportation)

Franco's favourite ... Venetian sightseeing (plus transportation)

Sep 14th, 2006, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Sorry to bother you all again, but with regard to ACTV VAPORETTI/LAND BUSES & STRIKES!:
I just went on the Actv (English) site this week and saw the following: "11/09/2006: STRIKE OF BUS AND WATERBUSES Friday 15, September - 24 hours" It is still there today.(No further information provided!)
Since I am leaving for Venice next week Saturday 9/23/06 [I can take Alilaguna into the city], then leaving Venice Monday 10/2/06 [Alilaguna impossible on departure,as it does Not start running early enough in the morning to get me to Marco Polo airport on time, so I Must take take vaporetti to P. Roma & bus from there (much much too far from apartment to walk with luggage)], I am concerned! (E100 water taxi too pricey for me & may not be available in a strike when demand will go up)
Does anyone know anything re Actv STRIKES?:
1)Are they always announced in advance?
2)If yes, how far in advance?
3)Is the "24 hours" listed the minimum, the maximum, or the usual duration of the strike?
4)How frequently do they occur?
5)If one should happen while I am already in Venice, does anyone know if any agent at any Actv ticket booth can inform me of an impending strike at least 24 hours in advance so I can try to make other arrangements re the airport? If not an Actv ticket booth agent- Who? Anyone?
Thanks in advance for any accurate, knowledgeable answers anyone can offer SOON!
stardancer is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Hello Stardancer,

this strike doesn't interest you at all - it takes place today, i.e. more than one week BEFORE your arrival.
1. yes
2. Just have a look to your own post: the strike that takes place today has been announced four days ahead.
3. None of the three. It's the precise duration.
4. Frequently, but not that frequently that you're likely to encounter another one next week.
5. Of course, every agent could (after all, he is supposed to strike, so how shouldn't he know?). But he'd be VERY surprised if you asked him - big announcements are being attached in every vaporetto station if a strike is impending; no placard - no strike.

To sum it up, I strongly suggest to look forward to a great Venice experience rather than being primarily concerned about public transportation, which won't certainly be the most interesting part of your journey...

And no, your kind offer to buy me a drink is highly appreciated, but there's no chance of bumping into me next week in Venice... unfortunately!
franco is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Thanks again to you, Franco. So sorry re my pre-occupation with travel rules, but things have been even more anxiety-provoking than usual here in NYC (at our airports & in our streets)since the Heathrow scare in July. Security & transport problems near where I live in mid-town, between the United Nations, the consulates & embassies, & the dignitary hotels, are also very high here in September with the convening of the new UN session, the September 11th remembrances, & the constant visits by the US President & other VIPs, forcing the already difficult pedestrian & auto traffic into huge detours,jams & delays for hours (last week I sat in auto traffic for over an hour for a 10 minute ride, then walked many blocks out of my way to circumvent the jam, or so I thought, only to be held without warning or time prediction, at the corner of the street where I live, for yet another 1/2 hour, until being allowed to proceed the last 1/2 block to my apartment. For security reasons, the police here refuse to provide any information on how/where/when security/traffic patterns will be affected while these issues continue for the rest of the month!) Also,the illegality of strikes by transit workers here hasn't prevented some illegal strikes in the past which have crippled our city for 3 days to 2 weeks at a time! As a New Yorker, I know the questions to ask & have some sense of what to expect & how to work around things like this here (& will work out a defensive plan to get to my airport on time for departure here), but in Italy, speaking no Italian, I felt unprepared for such things & was worried about missing my early morning flight home from Marco Polo. (Although, I suppose,the worst would be that I might and have to live in beautiful Venice forever!)Your thorough & patient answers give me the information I need so that I can just relax & enjoy my Venice vacation! GrazieMille! So sorry I will not be able to show my gratitude in person , but if you tell me your very favorite place/view in Venice, I will try to drink a toast there in your honor! Thanks again!
stardancer is offline  
Oct 18th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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I am sorry that I never heard back from you before I left with regard to your favorite place in Venice from which to toast you for all of your help. Nonetheless, now that I have returned
(with heart-breaking regret----Yes! I lost my heart to Venice & her beautiful people!),
I did want to take a moment to thank you for all of your extraordinary help! Knowing what to expect with regard to the vaporetti, the passes, etc. helped a great deal -- the first few days to get my bearings or to get away from the horrendous hordes of tourists near the Grand Canal (to me, the least interesting part of Venice) & later to save some time (although, the truth is-- I never was able to find a place to buy an orario; having one certainly would have saved me more time, especially in terms of making connections on the less frequent "girocitta" & lagoon lines).
On the other hand, losing your way &/or forgetting your schedule & letting Venice & her "timelessness" slip inside your soul is really part of her charm!

Also, I found that very few Venetians who didn't deal regularly with tourists (in places I generally avoided) actually spoke English to me. Whether this was because I deliberately sought out haunts among the Venetians themselves, in the very residential neighborhood surrounding my tiny rented apartment or elsewhere, or because I made a great effort to try to understand their Italian &/or Venetian, or because I am a dancer & artist who found other ways to communicate-- I don't know. But communicate we did!
I was, eventually, treated like a Venetian (even, amazingly, by the vaporetto conductors, whose rules I obeyed & to whom I always showed appreciation for their hard work!), finding new friends everywhere & being admitted where tourists usually were not!
(I simply followed my own attitude about tourists here where I live in midtown New York City-- "This is not Disneyland! People actually live here!")

Within a few days my body knew how to walk from Zattere to Ospedale, even in the night shadows, and my soul understood what people said to me even when my head didn't comprehend the words.

Che Bella Citta! WHAT A MAGICAL PLACE! And what wonderful people! They took me to their hearts & I took them to mine!

Tears poured down my face the morning I left (How foolish was the American woman I met in the NYC airport who told me 8 days was much too long to spend just in Vencie!--a lifetime would not be enough!).
I learned so much about Life there (through my skin!), that it is simply too much to say here.

I know that every day for the rest of my life I will think of Venice & I will smile! And every day I will also cry because I am not there!
stardancer is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2006, 05:59 PM
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The problem, stardancer, was that when I noticed your question, you were already in Venice - I've not been around too often for the last few months, unfortunately. (But soon, I'll return to more regular posting - my work project is about to end!)
I'm glad to see how deep your feelings for Venice are. And don't regret that you didn't know my favourite place for a drink: you'd have missed it anyway! Cause it's the balcony of my favourite vacation rental, La Rosa di Venezia... (see my "Venice accomodation" thread, the link is above).
Other good choices for a drink (this is already for your next Venice trip!) include the terrace of the Europa & Regina; the bar of the Gritti; the Caffé Lavena or Caffé Quadri on Piazza S. Marco, depending on which one has the better band that year; or a sgroppino after a filling, good meal at the Taverna Capitan Uncino.
franco is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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As some of you may have noticed, I'm back on Fodor's - but since these "favourite" threads have proved quite practicable, I invite everybody to continue posting questions here related to the subject of this thread.
franco is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Franco, this isn’t a question; it’s an answer - a rather long one, I’m afraid - to a question you asked in another thread about my stay in Venice. I said in that other thread that I was still thinking about it, but what is probably closer to the truth is that I’m schizophrenic about the city. On all those Web sites where they ask you as a security measure what your favorite city is, I invariably name Venice. But I found some of the realities of today’s Venice a little hard to take.

Henry James, back in 1882, wrote, “The Venice of today is a vast museum where the little wicket that admits you is perpetually turning and creaking, and you march through the institution with a herd of fellow-gazers.” Today, you can hear all the coins constantly dropping into that little wicket, and the noise is almost deafening. I know there are some Venetians in the dwindling population who make a living that is not dependent on tourism - one whom I have met is a professor at IUAV - but I felt quite strongly this time that the Venetian mentality, even in some of the outlying, less frequented areas, was that the life blood of the city comes from the tourist and that it is perfectly legitimate to suck as much out of him or her as possible.

Over the years that I have been visiting Venice - on my first visit, the Ca d’Oro still did not have electricity (and yes, I’m aware that I am showing my age...) - this factor has come to outweigh more and more the undeniable magic of the city, and it was the reason why, on my most recent visit to Venice in 2003, I told my Venetian acquaintance that it was probably my last.

Please do not misunderstand: My stay in Venice was not disagreeable in any way. With one notable exception that I have tried hard but in vain to forget, my interactions with Venetians were amicable and pleasant. I engaged in friendly, non-tourism-related chit-chat in Italian with quite a few Venetians, including the owner of a SlowFood restaurant who has an international reputation as a “domineering” personality. In fact, in my entire two weeks in Venice and Ravenna, I spoke English with three people: the owner of the B&B where I stayed in Venice whose English is so much better than my Italian that it would be insulting to speak to him in Italian; a saleswoman in a store that sells scarves based on Mariano Fortuny’s treatment of silk - again, her English was far better than my Italian and, besides, I don’t know the Italian word for “pleats”; and the KLM ticket agent at Marco Polo as I was leaving. But this did not at all mean that I was “accepted” in any real sense. I was born in Europe and I have studied there, but for the greatest part of my life, I have lived in North America. As such, of the carefully calibrated series of menus that I feel exist, at least mentally, in most restaurants and that range from “local” and “Italian” through “foreigner” to “rich American,” I was inevitably handed the “rich American” version, even though I am a relatively poor Canadian. This also happened in one of the restaurants you have recommended, one that is pretty far off the beaten path. The food was very good, but the cost was disproportionately high, considerably more than I pay for a similar meal in the historical center of Rome. Incidentally, I was surprised to notice that another of your recommendations, an even more remote one, is listed in my American Express Pocket Guide to Venice, published in 1993. (Please do not draw your nose up at it: With the exception of Hugh Honour’s “Companion Guide to Venice,” it is the English-language Venice guidebook with the most complete information on the art and architecture of the city that I know. I did at one point see Lorenzetti’s “Venice and Its Lagoon” in English at a bookshop in Venice, but I was afraid it would be much too much information. I could, in theory, use a French or a German guidebook, but French is pretty much imposed on me for daily use here in Montreal and my experience over many years with Germans has rather put me off that language.)

Back to the art and architecture of Venice: I’m very grateful to you for having pointed me in the direction of the Fondazione Cini. I enjoyed the visit very much, but as a long-time admirer of Palladio (I think some of his villas are among the most humanistic expressions of the Renaissance), I admired his cloister and his refectory more than the dormitory, impressive as it is, by Giovanni and Andrea Buora. (I’m not sure which is the father and which the son, but Giovanni Buora also worked, according to my guidebook, on the Scuola Grande di San Marco.) San Giorgio Maggiore itself, as you say, is not bad either, but Tintoretto’s “Last Supper” there is probably a more completely realized masterpiece than the church as a whole. Il Redentore, on the other hand, is unsurpassed, in my opinion, as the creation by a single architect of a religious space. I’m of too skeptical a turn of mind to consider myself a religious or even a spiritual person, but there is a harmony and a sense of elation there that seem to me a truer expression of religion than the grandiosity of St. Peter’s Basilica or the inventiveness of a Borromini or a Bernini, much as I may admire some of their work for precisely that quality.

Looking at your list of less well known things at the beginning of this thread, I find that I have visited thirteen of the nineteen, some of them three or four or five times. The ones that I do not know are San Michele in Isola (I can see enough churches by Mauro Codussi in Venice without going to the cemetery), Ospedaletto (exterior only; no visits of the interior in November), the Ghetto, San Giovanni Decollato (perhaps another instance of my guidebook being out of date; it says one has to ask at San Giacomo dell’Orio to be admitted there), San Lio (I don’t know why not; I walked by it...).

I realize that your list is not intended to be complete, but I can think of around two dozen other churches and museums in Venice that reward closer attention, some of which I saw for the first time during this visit, some of which I have returned to again and again. I’ve seen your very thorough refutation of some of the nonsense posted in this forum about the Ca Rezzonico, and I’m sure you know its collection as well as its architectural history. I return there for Giandomenico Tiepolo’s frescoes from the villa at Zianigo: he certainly saw the writing on the wall, even if most of his contemporaries did not. And one church that almost no one ever mentions is San Zaccaria; you can find a thousand times more references to the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop than to the church after which it is named. The first and the last thing that I visit whenever I am in Venice is Giovanni Bellini’s “Sacra Conversazione” at San Zaccaria; I’ve probably put as many 50 centesimi pieces into the luce box there as any other single visitor. The serenity, the harmony (yes, I’m big on harmony, probably because it is so rarely found these days), the artistic mastery without a hint of virtuosity for the sake of virtuosity - it is perhaps the single painting that I admire and love the most.

Which reminds me, by the way, that I do not quite agree with your statement that seeing San Sebastiano, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni is as good or better than visiting the Accademia. “The Feast at the House of Levi” is, I think, a better Veronese than any of the frescoes or paintings in San Sebastiano; Carpaccio’s “Santa Ursula” cycle in the Accademia, in my opinion, is more complex and interesting than the paintings in the Scuola di San Giorgio. For Tintoretto, I agree, the Scuola di San Rocco is unbeatable, but a few of his paintings in the Accademia, such as “The Translation of the Body of St. Mark,” are not to be sniffed at either. But above all, any survey of Venetian art that does not include Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione is sadly incomplete in my view. And which two rooms do you think were closed at the Accademia? Rooms IV and V, Room V being the tiny one that almost overwhelms me with its concentration of Bellinis and Giorgiones. As a sop to everyone who has at least heard of “La Tempesta,” it was shown in another room. But not “Col Tempo” (contested as its attribution may be) nor any of the Bellinis.

And did I go to see Carlo Scarpa’s entrance to IUAV (which is not, I think, affiliated with the Universita degli Studi Ca Foscari)? The answer is no. I had left it, perhaps unwisely, for my last day in Venice, but on November 17, the day that I left for Ravenna, there was a sciopero generale. I knew the trains would not be running between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., leaving me with the unhappy choice of taking a train at 7:22 a.m. or one at 2:32 p.m. that would make me lose almost an entire day in Ravenna. I chose the later train, only to find when I got to the vaporetto stop that the vaporetti - unannounced, to the best of my knowledge - were on strike until 3 p.m. Having dragged myself and my suitcase through the better part of San Polo and a chunk of Santa Croce - fortunately with the help of one or two Venetians and a young Romanian woman studying law at the university - I did not feel like repeating the experience after coming back to Venice from Ravenna, even without the suitcase. In the meantime, I’ve Googled for images of Scarpa’s entrance, and I have to admit that I do not regret not having seen it. It’s a more brutalist Scarpa than some of his other work that I have seen, most with my own eyes and one in photographs presented in a Scarpa exhibition at the museum where I used to work - the Brion Cemetery, the Fondazione Querini-Stampalia, Palazzo Abatellis or even Castelvecchio - and, as you might guess, I’m not particularly drawn to brutalist architecture.

On a lighter and very pleasing note: There was no acqua alta while I was in Venice or, if technically there was, it did not even rise to Piazza San Marco. There were a few scattered drops of rain one evening; I heard it raining during the night once or twice; there was occasionally a little fog, but it did not rain at all during the day. A nice change from October of last year when it seemed to rain continuously during the entire three weeks I spent in Sicily and Rome.

So there you have it: my little report on “What I did in Venice.” (I’m also going to add a few words to your Favourite Restaurants in Venice thread.)

Eloise is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts, Eloise. But I need to ask - what is the "nonsense" you're referring to about the Ca Rezzonico?
Holly_uncasdewar is online now  
Nov 27th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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It seems the thread has been pulled.

A poster maintained that the Ca Rezzonico and its collection were from the 17th century; Franco pointed out - in considerable detail - that both the collection and the building were from the 18th century.

Further information here, from the official Web site of the Musei Civici Veneziani:

Eloise is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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No, Eloise. "the poster" maintained that in Italian, "museo del settecento veneziano" which is what Ca' Rezzonico is called in Italian, is not strictly translated as the "18th century museum" (and I realize they have it as such in English) -because "settecento" means 1700's in Italian-so it is the museum of the 1700's venetian-this is to avoid confusion as to which century is specifically being spoken about.

And, as the Museum's OWN website points out, it was finished in the mid 1700's but it was orginally started with much of the important work done (i.e., the "piano nobile") through the 1680's, when the work was halted because of the death of the architect and family money problems. The Rezzonico family bought the palazzo in 1751, and had it completed in 1756, thus making it truly a 1600-1700's palazzo, no?
Girlspytravel is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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... sorry I asked
Holly_uncasdewar is online now  
Nov 27th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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Uhh... The 1700's are the 18th century.

0-100 AD = First century
1701-1800 = Eighteenth century
luv2cthings is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Oh no, not again! Girlspytravel, thank you for repeating my "thorough refutation" (as Eloise put it) of what you had said on that other thread (just to repeat that, too: first, you called Ca' Rezzonico a "gorgeous 15th century palazzo", then you told us "settecento means 17th century", and so on). I think we've had enough of this valuable discussion...

Now for the more important things: I feel soooo honoured to get a trip report posted here by our wisest Italy expert on this forum: thank you so much, Eloise! Of course, this impressive analysis of rare profoundness deserves a profound answer (as far as my English permits it). First of all, what you're saying of Venice living on the blood of tourists is true, of course, and I realize this is a drawback, and a sad one. And yes, almost nobody could make a living there if it were not for the tourists. But I beg to realize also that for this unique and totally anachronistic city, this is the only way to survive, as well as a general drawback of the more beautiful parts of this globalized world. To begin with the latter argument, many other cities, whole regions, and even whole countries (most of them much less memorable than Venice) are doing exactly the same. Just recently, I read a newspaper article (was it in the NYT?) on Mauritius, a country that used to live on sugarcane as long as the UK guaranteed its former colony to pay prices far above the market level. Now, the European Union policy having made an end to this privilege, Mauritius' sugarcane business is down, and the country is seriously planning on founding its economy entirely on tourism. On the other hand, the (should we say: former?) industrial countries are losing more and more jobs to low-wage countries, and much of the production is already off to China, Bangladesh, the Ukraine, or Mexiko. What remains for the "first" world is bureaucracy, advertising agencies, journalism, market & opinion research - and tourism (ok, I'm pretty sardonic now, but it's not as wrong as we might hope it to be!). Another example: what are the alpine regions living on? Agriculture? Milk & cheese? No: tourism, above all: skiing. To sum it up, for many regions or cities, in the third as well as in the first world, tourism is the last resort against economic standstill and inertia. And yes, Venice is among them. It's even more manifest in Venice than in many other places. But I'm pleading for Venice now: this city has no other choice, less than any other city (maybe in the whole world). It's a city that has, due to her medieval layout, and the necessities of the protection of her monuments, and the total lack of itineraries practicable for modern life and economy, absolutely no chance to survive, except on tourism. Just imagine Venice NOT sucking the blood of tourists: two possibilities. First, trying to establish modern economy there, which would mean to simply destroy the city. Second, the people of Venice had to move where jobs are to be found: on the mainland, leaving a dying city in neglect and decay. True, Venice is often overdoing the blood-sucking (5 Euros for a vaporetto ride on the Canal Grande, even for one single stop). But nevertheless, tourism (as exaggerated and annoying it may often seem) is actually the only possible guarantee for the flourishing of Venice, nowadays, and the people of Venice are right if they realize it, and try to make the most of it. In their favour, I must say that quite many (especially of those working directly in the tourism industry) are very, very unhappy about exaggerated exploitation of tourists, about bad service, ridiculous opening hours, restaurant service charges, and so on, and since the number of Venetians criticizing these excesses seems (to me, at least) to increase, things may well change for the better in the near future. And another point in the favour of the Venetians is that they're still trying to make the best of living with so many tourists: in the outer districts of Cannaregio, Castello, S. Croce, or Dorsoduro, Venice is still a lively Italian town, and on the level of personal relationships, the same is true even of S. Marco: the locals know each other, greet each other, chat with each other, a well-working every-day town life generously overlooked by 99 percent of the tourists. This struggle of maintaining normal town life in midst of the bustle also accounts for the difference between tourist prices and patron prices: nobody could afford to live in a city as expensive as Venice has to be for the tourists; I say: she HAS to be expensive for the tourists (ok: not always and everywhere THAT expensive), since she wouldn't otherwise survive, economically. One thing, in this respect, is important: the difference is between prices for the patrons and for the rest of the world; a Venetian who is not a frequent visitor of a certain restaurant will pay exactly the same price as a "rich American"; and an actually rich American will be treated as a patron (and pay the patron price) if s/he comes often enough to be recognized (and they're recognizing you quickly in Venice). And if you ever happen to deal with Venetian artisans (they're famous for their exceptional quality, and I've had them make quite a lot of fixtures for me that I've brought back home), who are rarely dealing directly with tourists (though none of them would still be there without the tourism industry, responsible for so many restorations throughout the city) - it's not, as usual, that you are tipping them: they are tipping you!, ALWAYS rounding down the total when paying is due.

As far as art, thank you for the information on father and son Buora. S. Giorgio Maggiore, IMO, is usually misinterpreted: if you're standing in front of it, the facade is certainly somehow disproportional, which distorts also the interior; but the aim of this building is to serve as a splendid scenery, viewed from Piazzetta S. Marco - and seen from that distance, the facade seems perfect, at least to me. Otherwise, I agree on Tintoretto's Last Supper, and I fully agree on SS. Redentore, actually one of my favourite architectonic spaces. (Do you know S. Salvatore, the cemetery church of Spoleto, from late Roman antiquity? Though in much smaller scale, its interior resembles the spirit of the Redentore so much that I'm always thinking Palladio must have known it!)
As far as the Accademia & Venetian painting, I fully appreciate your impressive discussion of those splendid artworks, and I certainly agree on the Feast at the House of Levi, among others. This was maybe a somewhat misleading statement of mine - I should have added that for me, paintings are always preferable seen in situ than in a museum, notwithstanding their quality. I absolutely want to see how the painter reacted to the architecture, and to the overall decoration of the place for which he was working, and that's why especially of the two Carpaccio cycles, I actually prefer the one at the Scuola di S. Giorgio (which is great as well, at least for me) - though I admit that IF the Sant'Orsola cycle would still be in its original setting, I'd perhaps, too, prefer that one.
And I wouldn't say Scarpa's University entrance (frankly, I don't know about the relations between Ca' Foscari and the IUAV) is "brutalist". I'd say that for a Scarpa work, it's rather bold. But for me, it has nothing brutal, not at all. I'd even dare saying this is a surprisingly gracious way of dealing with so massive concrete forms...

Well, thank you again, Eloise, and I'm glad you've had your feet dry and warm!
franco is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Franco, I’m not at all sure that you are not being ironic, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt...

You’ve presented an eloquent defence of Venetian tourist practices, and I recognize the justice of much of what you say. But please do bear in mind that you are in a privileged position: you are Italian, and you are in Venice much more frequently than most of us ordinary mortals. And although I didn’t mention it, yes, I dd notice that the Venetians’ everyday interactions are the same as they would be in any Italian town: They greet each other in passing, they stop and chat. I also realize the burden tourism places on Venetians who are trying to live normal lives amidst the tourist throngs. My Venetian acquaintance, a man of exceptionally even and sanguine temperament, became almost vehement when he described how often at the height of the tourist season (which now seems to extend through the better part of the year) he had to wait for the second, third or even fourth vaporetto before he could get on to go from his home to his place of work. I probably also could have mentioned that at the very pleasant, nicely appointed and immaculately clean B&B where I was staying for the second time for a fairly prolonged period I was charged a low nightly rate for a doppio uso singola that most visitors to Venice would find impossible to believe.

You’re also right, of course,.that San Giorgio Maggiore was designed to impress when viewed from the Piazzetta, but I still think that the proportions are not completely successful, even when seen from afar. I don’t recall seeing San Salvatore in Spoleto, but from Googling images, I can certainly see how one might think that it had inspired Palladio. As a rule, though, I find that most early Christian and Romanesque churches, even those that are much less lofty, communicate the same spirit as Il Redentore; I generally spend considerably more time revisiting the early Christian churches in Rome than the Baroque ones. And I’ll also agree with you that it is preferable, if possible, to view paintings in situ. But on the Scarpa entrance, let’s agree to disagree.

It’s a pleasure to engage in such a discussion with you; you raise points that I might not have considered and you present them in a persuasive and civil tone that is sometimes lacking here.
Eloise is offline  
Nov 28th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Eloise, thank you again for your kind words, and be assured that the one and only irony in my reply to your report was my account of modern first world economy shrinking to advertising agencies, opinion researchers, and the media - on everything else, I've been absolutely serious.
franco is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Bookmarking this wonderful resource...

(Betsy, I prefer to bookmark it this way since my browser bookmarks folder has been lost more than once and is native to only my home PC, whereas attaching this thread to my username means I can find it for as long as I can remember my fodors username and password!)
Kavey is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Franco - thanks for replying to my post and for linking me here... I am reading and taking notes!!
ltilley is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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I need help! Last visit I did not(big mistake)take my lovely wife on a Gondola ride, but we did use the vaporetti(not very romantic) around town and to Murano. And then it started to rain and rain for days! So off we left without the "romantic gondola ride". So back to Venice we go in July. Can you direct me to great spot for the "romantic gondola ride"? We are staying at Hotel Ai Mori d'Oriente hope to catch a concert at Le Fenice a bellini at Harry's and vino and Jazz at Bacaro's. Or maybe some other place you could suggest? Looking forward to whole trip we have a Farmhouse in Tuscany at Podere Miri for 2 weeks with 5 other couples. We plan on a lot of hill climbing for pasta, vino and sunsets! Any insight on local sights food, music and vino would be appriecated. Ciao! Ken
bvpusa is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Ken - believe it or not, with so much time spent in Venice, I've never been on a gondola ride; I'm always searching for Venice behind the touristy curtain, and of course, gondolas are not the Venetians' means of transportation... But exactly in front of Harry's Bar is a big gondola station, e.g. - in fact, they're everywhere, and their itineraries seem always pretty much the same, no matter where you start. You can, however, ask for alternative itineraries that might take you to lesser known and visited parts of the city (but will also cost more, I guess). So I'm rather the contrary of a gondola riding expert; but I have at least one important hint for you: the quality of the gondolieri is very different, both as to the atmosphere they're creating (some chatting nicely with their guests, and in all languages, some simply rowing silently) and to the informations they give - some telling only what even the worst guidebook knows, some giving really good information on the city's monuments. (I always hear them below the balcony of the apartment I'm normally booking.) So I think it's important that you choose your gondoliere yourself, chat with some of them before booking, in order to get an impression of the person; and for that matter, I wouldn't ask the hotel to call a gondola, or you won't be able to make your own gondoliere choice.
franco is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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