Our month in Venice

Old May 25th, 2009, 05:39 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
RS...sorry, I was remiss in not adding, I hope you are soon on the road to wellness...so you can realize your dream of returning to Venice....we'll be rooting for you...

stu
tower is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 05:52 PM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Marisylvia

Thanks for sharing all this info. I luv the Venice apartment. Good value too. My only reservation is there is a cafe across the canal. Was there much noise from there in the evenings?
worldinabag is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 06:25 PM
  #63  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi LoveItaly, we've been shivering here, but assumed you'd be roasting in Sacramento. Isn't there a jazz festival this weekend? We saw an Amtrak announcement last weed while waiting for the Capitol Corridor train.

Larry, I just found your great page on formatting: http://ljkrakauer.com/tags.htm. Thanks--now I can write "blasé"!

Okay, back to the trip report.

<b>Weekend and Starting Week Two, with a Diversion</b>

Having a month to leisurely explore Venice gave us a chance to find some wonderful artists and artisans whose work offers a contrast to all the multiple stores selling fake Murano, Hello Kitty and masks. We enjoyed meeting and talking to them, and the consistent message we got was how difficult it is to compete and stay in business in Venice. The rents are high, but also they are getting no support from the city government, or, certainly, policy makers in Rome. The diversion I mentioned is to give the ones we found some publicity.

At the end of our first day, after hauling our bags to the apartment, we took a walk along Strada Nova with the thought of buying food and other supplies at the Billa market there. We walked past it, enjoying being in Venice, to the Campo S. Apostoli, where people gather and we saw a young woman with a display of watercolors. They were very good, and amazingly inexpensive at 25 euros. After paying cash for our iMob cards, we could only afford one:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010809-1.jpg
We were tired, or I would have thought to ask where we could find her again. Of course, we never saw her again, alas, but at least we have one of her paintings. One shouldn't get greedy.

One of our favorite places to take a break was at Ciak, a cafe on Campiello S. Toma, near the Frari. We would get a bottle of acqua minerale frizzante, settle in at a table, and view the parade of people passing by. I don't know why the people watching here was the best I'd found in Venice, but there were many odd sights:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000795.jpg

We spotted an ascetic looking man put out a rack of prints in front of his shop, and wandered over to see his wares. His window featured old maps of Venice, and I saw several framed prints of the Lion of St. Mark. His prices for framed prints was amazingly low--20-30 euros.

The address is S. Toma, 2819, 30125 Venezia, but just go to Campiello S. Toma and you'll find him.

Here is his shop:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010346.jpg

This is what we bought (sorry about the reflections):
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010810.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010812-1.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010811.jpg


Signor Gabbiato speaks little English, but he smiled and ruefully rolled his eyes when I told him how much we loved his shop and his work, and how unusual it is to find such a place now in Venice. He is a lovely and dignified man, who seems a bit sad and bemused by the modern world. I asked whether I could take his picture:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000804.jpg

One shop we wanted to find was Signor Blum, so we could buy a mobile for friends with a new baby. They have unusual cut wood pieces, which look like puzzles, but I think are works of art. John remembered it was near the produce boat, and led us there.

We found a wonderful colorful mobile, with sea creatures suspended from the arms of an octopus (sorry, it's wrapped for shipping), but bought other pieces for ourselves:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010805-1.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010799.jpg
This is Palazzo Foscari: http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010801-1.jpg
All of the parts are loose, so you can take out windows, etc., if you want to. I referred to it as Ca' Foscari, which I knew was part of the University, and the lovely lady who was helping us said it is different. Then I saw it from the vaporetto, and realized what a fine reproduction we got at Signor Blum.

The shop is owned in partnership by three women, and they are having a hard time staying in business due to city policies, the lady told us. However, they have a website: http://www.signorblum.com/. We looked at many objects there, and I would not hesitate to order by mail. I'm going to email them, I think, to have them add more of their pieces to the website. I think they could sell many of the mobiles, and other items like colorful motorcycles, plus the palazzi and the animals.
Here is the lady who helped us:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010607.jpg
I wish now I'd taken more pictures of the merchandise, like the octopus mobiles.

We enjoyed wandering around San Polo, and found two more artisans. The first was Giuliana Rolli, who hand paints on porcelain. She does a variety of work, but has been inspired lately by artists like Kandinsky, Miro and Klee. There is a wide range of pieces, and we bought some:
These were photographed in the shop, because Giuliana said they were originals, and I agreed to send her the photos:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010610.jpg
This is on top of the book of Kandinsky's painting on porcelain which inspired Giuliana:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010611.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010802-1.jpg
Here is a closer view of the salt bowls:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010795.jpg
This is just for fun (we have three cats
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...IMG_3986-1.jpg
Here is her address: Giuliana Rolli, S. Polo 2599 A/B, 30125 Venezia; email [email protected]
And here is a picture of her:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010660.jpg
As you can see, she works in her small shop. She said she recently had some vandalism, with her window being broken and many pieces smashed. She said there are drunken young people who carouse nearby.
Her shop is a bit hard to find, but worth it. Her prices are reasonable, too: the plate, for example, was 33 euros. I suggested she set up a website, which she'd like to do, but said it is hard, as she is busy working.
One of the shop windows: http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000790.jpg

Another find was in the middle of a line of shops on a narrow street. We saw through the window that someone was actually working with molton glass, rotating the piece skillfully in front of the flame::
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010088-1.jpg

Here is what we bought from her:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010797.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010803_3.jpg
Her shop is San Polo Vetro, and she is Viviana Tosa. Address:
San Polo, 2309, S. Agostin 30125 Venezia

John just asked whether we could think of dinner, and as it's about 7:20 and our alarm sounds at 4:45 AM, I'd better stop now. I feel I'm abandoning the artists I haven't mentioned yet, but I'll try to return tomorrow.
marisylvia is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 06:27 PM
  #64  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hmmm...a notice for a jazz festival last weed...must be more careful.
marisylvia is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 08:26 PM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That work on porcelain, by Giuliana Rolli, is just wonderful. You made some good finds, for sure.

(.. "a jazz festival last weed" sounds feasible!)
YvonneT is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 08:55 PM
  #66  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can recognise the watercolour painting that you bought. It is looking down the Rio San Barnaba towards the Grand Canal, Campo San Barnaba on the right. The vista is from the Ponte de Pugni, with the greengrocer's barge not quite showing in the painting. Signor Blum's shop is just out of frame on the right.

And I recognised the guy in the shop where you bought the framed art works.

It's making me horribly melancholy for Venice.

Cheers

Peter
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 08:59 PM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You've obviously found many shops selling the works of very creative artists and artisans! I love the photos of your purchases. And I love the photo of Signor Gabbiato in his shop, with the mirror set up to show his reflection.

On our first trip to Venice in 2000, we bought a great mask of the face of a chimpanzee, with another (attached) traditional Venetian mask pulled up over its head, as if the chimp had just lifted it up. This was a gift for our daughter, who was starting her study of primatology at the time. I'm afraid I've lost track of the name of the shop (there must be 100 mask shops in Venice), and I regretted not taking a picture of the mask maker.

The work of Signor Blum reminds me of another jigsaw artist we saw in Venice, Vanni Morandin. We bought a piece from him, a depiction of "Le Petit Prince" on his circular planet, which contains a hidden weight that causes it to balance upright without rolling. I do have the address of his shop, S. Stae 1921, 30135 Venezia (Tel. 347-2482637). The phone number is from 2000, but a search on "Vanni Morandin" turned up a blog from June, 2008 that shows the shop to still be at the same address. That blog can be seen at:

http://lamiavenexia.blogspot.com/200...008-11h42.html

It contains a picture of his work, but I should note that the blog is in French (except for one paragraph about the blog which appears in both French and Italian).

My old trip report on our visit to Venice can still be seen at:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ort-venice.cfm

(By the way, the Fodor's site crashed while I was writing this, but I had saved my text in a Word file.)
justretired is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 09:03 PM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You've obviously found many shops selling the works of very creative artists and artisans! I love the photos of your purchases. And I love the photo of Signor Gabbiato in his shop, with the mirror set up to show his reflection.

On our first trip to Venice in 2000, we bought a great mask of the face of a chimpanzee, with another (attached) traditional Venetian mask pulled up over its head, as if it were just lifted off. This was a gift for our daughter, who was starting her study of primatology at the time. I'm afraid I've lost track of the name of the shop (there must be 100 mask shops in Venice), and I regretted not taking a picture of the mask maker.

The work of Signor Blum reminds me of another jigsaw artist we saw in Venice, Vanni Morandin. We bought a piece from him, a depiction of "Le Petit Prince" on his circular planet, which contains a hidden weight that causes it to balance upright without rolling. I do have the address of his shop, S. Stae 1921, 30135 Venezia (Tel. 347-2482637). The phone number is from 2000, but a search on "Vanni Morandin" turned up a blog from June, 2008 that shows the shop to still be at the same address. That blog can be seen at:

http://lamiavenexia.blogspot.com/200...008-11h42.html

It contains a picture of his work, but I should note that the blog is in French (except for one paragraph about the blog which appears in both French and Italian).

My old trip report on our visit to Venice can still be seen at:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ort-venice.cfm

(By the way, the Fodor’s site crashed several times while I was writing this, but I had saved my work in a Word file.)
justretired is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 09:07 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Darn, I tried to post, and it didn't work. I did a reload to be sure it wasn't there, and it wasn't. So I re-posted it, and now it appears twice. Sorry.

- Larry

"Computers let you make more mistakes faster than anything except handguns and tequila." (Mitch Radcliffe)
justretired is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 10:09 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,862
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mari,

What a great trip report and so sweet! My favorite line:

"It's Sunday morning, and when I told John I'd make pancakes his big smile made me realize that's my first priority today."

I envy you, how wonderful to spend one month in Venice.
cafegoddess is offline  
Old May 25th, 2009, 11:56 PM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
justretired, someone has a signature that reads "Drink coffee. Do stupid things faster." That would be a good match to your computer quote.
marisylvia, we keep hijacking your post ... sorry.
YvonneT is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 01:37 AM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 217
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the tips, justretired (I've been retired less than one year myself). I, too, have Firefox 3.0.10, the spell checker is ticked, and it's not splckig this, as you can see.
Marisylvia, I'm loving your trip report. I'm so glad you spotted that typo/spelling mistake yourself (I'd have hated to mention it). I often make that sort of mistake myself - we both know when to use "there" and "their" (and even "they're"), but some perverse trick of the brain makes us type what is probably the one that is used more often, and then stops us seeing it before we hit "submit". It's a shame this forum does not have an "edit" function for the submitter, after a post has been submitted.
But what I wanted to ask is, how do you tell fake Murano from genuine Murano? I don't really like any of it, though I appreciate the skill that goes into making it. But I was amused to hear a shopkeeper say to a potential customer, something like, "We sell only genuine Murano glass here, you can tell because there is a sticker saying 'Made in Murano'" (!) Like the Chinese cannot make fake stickers!
Bert4545 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 02:14 AM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi
I had originally only penciled in 2 days for Venice.. but your report (and Peter_S's LONG (and brilliant) one have me thinking I have made a HUGE mistake. Back to the drawing board again!
emerald125 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 05:17 AM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have stayed twice in S. Croce so our main vaporetto was S. Toma and we always loved the area and would linger in the campiello upon returning each afternoon. Oh how reading this makes me miss it even more.
bfrac is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 09:15 AM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
emerald125, different people have different reactions to Venice. We've met people who didn't like it. Because it's unique, it draws a lot of tourists, and if you stay in the major tourist areas, it can seem more like Disneyland than a real city. Also due to the tourists, there are a lot of cheaply-made tourist wares for sale, lots of inferior restaurants, and prices overall are higher than in the rest of Italy.

<b>But my wife and I find it magical!</b> One problem with staying only two days is that you're less apt to stray from the major tourist areas (you <i>do</i> want to see those sights, after all). But if you have longer, you're more apt to wander further afield, and discover that there's a real city there. And there are good restaurants. And as you can see by some of the artists and artisans marisylvia is patronizing, there are some remarkable things to purchase. You just have to do your homework so you know where to go.

For me, in particular, as an engineer, the sheer <i>mechanics</i> of the city are endlessly fascinating. There are no cars and trucks, except insofar as boats serve that purpose. So how does a refrigerator get delivered, for instance? The <s>truck</s> boat can only take it up to the dock. Then what? It turns out that there are a variety of dollies and slings used to carry heavy objects. There's a type of dolly in which in place of each wheel, there are three wheels in a triangular support that can pivot around a central point. These can be pulled up and down the steps of the bridges crossing the smaller canals. For me, the sheer logistics of the city are endlessly fascinating.

As is the architecture - pink palazzi and various rococo ornamentation included. My jaw dropped when we first arrived at the train station, and I've discovered I'm hardly the only person in that circumstance who immediately thought of the words, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

Yes, I'd recommend more than two days in Venice.

- Larry
justretired is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 09:45 AM
  #76  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Larry, I wonder whether your mask came from a shop we passed every day going back to our apartment. It's on the corner of Campo Santa Fosca, where there's the statue of Paolo Sarpi? One display window is full of interesting animal masks.

Bert, I'll post some photos of jewelry I bought. It was a splurge, but I wore it every day. I think you'll see it's real Murano, worth its cost. I love to look at the glowing red and gold when I wear the bracelets. These photos do not do them justice, but hint at their beauty:

http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010814.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010815_2.jpg
And here is a closeup of the pendant from San Polo Vetro:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010813.jpg

Cafegoddess, I count my blessings often.
marisylvia is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 10:43 AM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,409
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
marisylvia, I know the mask didn't come from that shop, because the Campo Santa Fosca is up in the Cannaregio. I know it came from a shop somewhere in the San Marco district, probably on some side street off the Calle de la Verona.

Because of the doctoral program in Primatology my daughter was starting, we had been going in to mask shops, and asking for masks of chimpanzees, or even monkeys. My daughter had worked with chimpanzees (she even once had a brief sign-language conversation with the late Washoe, who was much more famous than any of us). She ended up doing research on lemurs in Madagascar. Anyway, I digress. This particular shop was the first one that had what we were after. And I loved the image of a reveler in Venice lifting his mask, and turning out to be a chimpanzee.

While I've got so many Venice mavens in one place here on the forum, let me ask a question. Can anyone identify the church in this picture, and the square in front of it? The picture:

http://images.kodakgallery.com/servl..._BG.jpg?a=1049

This is an image from my photos from our 2006 trip to Venice, but when I got back, I couldn't figure out from my notes where we were when that picture was taken. I've even found a similar image of that distinctive church tower on a web site, but it didn't identify the location. Anyone recognize it? Thanks.

Those photos show our entire 2006 trip to the Lakes district, Dolomites, Venice, and Milan, not just the Venice part. They are at:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-jcjeim

The trip report, Venice portion only, is at:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34821418

- Larry
justretired is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 11:24 AM
  #78  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Artists and Artisans, Continued

One day we decided to look for what the website of the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica de Venzia said was their gallery at the end of the Fondamenta Misericordia, heading towards the Ponte d. Tre Archi. This puts you at the oppostite end of the fish from San Marco, in many ways.

Strolling along, looking into shop windows which sold hardware, fabric and food, not a glass or mask shop in sight, I saw some art which I loved immediately. One of the prints was of one of our favorite restaurants, Il Refolo, and an added feature was the artist had stood on the nearby bridge, and you could see his hands holding his pen.

We were delighted to find the shop open, and greeted the artist, who is of Japanese descent, there with his young son. We were joined by his wife, whose abstract work was also displayed. We chatted with them, and learned he had come to Venice 20 years ago, fell in love with it, and never left. He said it is expensive to live on Venice, but they feel it is worth it. Being in Venice sustains their art. We also learned that they both teach at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.

We bought the Il Refolo print, and some others, which I photographed, but the pictures do not do the prints justice. Still, you’ll get an idea of them:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010807-1.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010808-1.jpg
Here is the campiello with Il Refolo. Can you see the artist’s hands?
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010806-1.jpg

I asked the artist to give me a card with his name and address, and I saw him stamp it on the back of one of the cardboard pieces he was using in wrapping the prints, but having unwrapped them, I don’t see it, and I can’’t decipher his name from the prints.

I sent an email to the Scuola, and hope to add that information, but perhaps someone else knows this artist?

Sorry, this is not a good photo of him:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010020.jpg

The last piece I’ll show is a photo album we bought:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...IMG_3990-1.jpg

The paper is hand made, and the button on the spine is onyx.

We had a good conversation with the vivacious lady in the shop, who was filling in for her daughter, who was expecting her first child.
Here she is: http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1010166.jpg

What a stylish and attractive grandmother to be!

I’ll close this segment with some art not for sale:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010142_2.jpg
This is an installation at Ca’ Pesaro:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000998-1.jpg
Was the artist inspired by this?
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1010048-1.jpg

Now I’ll move on to the chronology, but lunch first.
marisylvia is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 11:27 AM
  #79  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Larry, I tried to get your photo of the church, but it wouldn't load.
marisylvia is offline  
Old May 26th, 2009, 01:27 PM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 963
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love this trip report! How fortunate you were to be able to spend a month in Venice! I was there last year, only for a few days, though, and fell in love with the city.

I really like the way you have included your pictures in your report instead of posting them seperately.

Johanna
gracie04 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -