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Venice - another trip report (deja vu all over again)

Venice - another trip report (deja vu all over again)

Old Mar 26th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Venice - another trip report (deja vu all over again)

Well, we've arrived. About 30 hours door to door to door. The starting door was in Melbourne, the ending door in Venice. Travelled via Dubai, the airport that keeps just getting bigger. They've installed a railroad between terminals A and B/C - I'm anticipating that next they'll create a small airline to provide transport between terminals.

Dubai's like that - big stuff, even bigger stuff, world's biggest you name it.

Sigmund Freud would understand. Mine's bigger than yours, so there.

Italians have emigrated to Australia in big numbers. I remember meeting Phillipo, a concrete layer, who returned to Australia after being held in Aus as a POW. He liked the place, and returned to the land of his captivity, and trowelled up my uncle's sheep dip in 1954. Well, we Emirated to Italy, Venezia. Arrival was fairly well painless except for the weather.

I believe that the northing equinox was about 20th March, marking the start of the northern Spring. So this had me wondering why on earth it was SNOWING in Venice on March 25th. Yeah, climate change, global warming / cooling, whatever, but I just put it down to Venetian perversity. Venice is a bit like that - a town built in a swamp, becoming a huge military and commercial power, before yielding to the excesses of Carnivale, gambling and hairdressing. Great big wet flakes of snow drifting down as we traversed the lagoon in a water taxi, small snow drifts making the bridges slippery.

There's nominally a ten hour time difference between Melbourne and Italy - but in the case of Venice, make that time difference about one hundred and fifty years plus ten hours. It's rather delightful - dragging our stuff down Calle del Oche - the Street of the Goose. I don't know why we are in Goose Street. Maybe there was a goose butcher here five hundred years ago, maybe there was a bloke living here who was nick named "the Goose". Giuesppi the Goose, maybe. Who knows, and there are probably a dozen explanations. Venice is like that - Carlo Scarpa, Venetian philosopher, once said "I never tell a lie, but the truth not to everyone".

So I've given up on trying to find the truth about Venice.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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Please post if you find any great restaurants!
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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Carlo Scarpa was a 20th-century architect. The quotation is from Paolo Sarpi, a 16th-century monk and canon lawyer.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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Baudolino, you are absolutely correct. Last time we were in Venice we stayed in an apartment designed by a student of Scarpa, and since then, I have been a bit taken by Scarpa's work. Sarpi discovered the contraction of the iris. apologies (the truth not to everyone).
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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Looking forward to more!
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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Can't wait to hear more. Yes restaurant recommendations please, sadly not for me, but my daughter and her husband will be in Venice in about 3 weeks.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:36 PM
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One of my most awaited TRs (and an inspiration to get back to Thomas Madden's highly readable <i>Venice; A New History</i.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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Peter: can't wait for more of your incredible knowledge of Venice. Would love to have you as my tour guide, but I may never get back there.

Instead, I'll follow this trip with you.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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Highly recommend Osteria La Zucca, Santa Croce 1762. Food, service, ambience - delightful. Reasonable prices, too. Not typical Italian food, but fresh and delicious. Don't miss the pumpkin flan.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Peter, how long are you staying this time?
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 11:44 PM
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farrermog, I'm with you, I really, really love Peter's reports.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 03:25 AM
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I am enjoying this already. Have you visited the Carlo Scarpa Olivetti site in Piazza San Marco? Quite high admission fee, the best thing in my view is the terrazzo floors which you can see fairly well through the windows.

And there was a fabulous exhibition of his glass for Venini on San Giorgio Maggiore last summer in the Stanze del Vetro, where another interesting-looking glass exhibit is on now I think. I think about Venice alot.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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I guess that we've spent a day or so just becoming re-acquainted with Venice, after a two year absence. Which can lead to some interesting conjunctions, like running into Yvonne, and reassuring her that our cats are healthy.

Yvonne comes from rural Queensland in Aus, was our house sitter in Melbourne two years ago - so it's a bit odd to meet her in the street in Venice when she was in search of Daniel Manin's birthplace round the corner from our apartment near San Giacomo. But EVERYONE worth meeting has been to Venice (think Truman Capote, JFK, Princess Di and QE2) so maybe it's no surprise.

There's this expectation, truly false, that Venice is sort of immutable, static, unchanging. Things that one liked in the past should still be in place. So we were disappointed to find that the pharmacy in Campo S. Stefano is now a jewellers shop, doing that high end bling that boasts shops in Beirut, LA and NY. The only reminders of several hundred years of pharma are the circular indentations in the pavement from the mortars used for bashing up the ingredients for teriaca - ingredients that included vipers, opium and other choice bits and pieces.

Our favourite glass shop has relocated out of their premises near San Moise. The shop featured work by Carlo Moretti, and has moved. http://www.lisola.com/ is their web site. Now, that might not seem such a big deal, as there an awful lot of glass shops in Venice (corollary to the fact that there is a lot of awful glass in Venice). But Moretti's showroom was designed by my favourite architect in Venice, Carlo Scarpa, so I hope that whoever moves in will preserve it. Scarpa is Venice's most well known architect, work that reflects Frank Lloyd Wright, and also Japanese touches.

We were amused when passing through immigration at Marco Polo. Some people received a lot of scrutiny, financial stuff, onwards travel plans. Aussies get a little attention, but EU citizens just stroll through, holding their passports up in the air to demonstrate, I suppose, that they have a passport. No stamp, no nothing. Very casual, very Italian.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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That's Schengen - no border controls, though you still need to be able to identify yourself.

Thank you for the trip report - great reading!
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Great trip report...looking forward to more.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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I love Moretti's glass work.
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Old Mar 27th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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ttt - love the glasses. my faves are the calci, i just wish I could afford them!
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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There's a bit of building work happening. The palazzo Ca Da'Mosto, the oldest palazzo on the Grand Canal is finally being restored. It's also for sale! The building dates from the twelfth century, has been a private residence, and also a hotel. When it was a hotel, it was the Leon Bianco, and was well endorsed in guide books, Corryat thought it pretty good - and Corryat wrote his guide to Venice around 1500 something. The facade to the Grand Canal is well progressed, although the lower stories of brickwork need a bit of attention. Inside, from what we could see, not a lot has changed. Alvise da' Mosto was an explorer, and was part of discovering the trade route to India via the Cape of Good Hope - which ultimately led to the downfall of Venice as a key place on the trade routes.

It will be special once it is completed.

I've had a problem for several years with No 1, Santa Croce. No 1 is a small building, nicely visible when you cross the bridge from Dorsoduro to Santa Croce (just past Chet's bar, where they do a good spritz, 2.50 per). Lou nagged me to buy No1 for her, and I have to admit that I failed. Someone now is renovating the place, and Lou is not amused. She wanted the fun of renovation. I thing that "fun" and "renovation in Venice" is as good an oxymoron as one could hope to find. I can take a little pleasure in the fact that the renovations have not proceeded much, other than erecting a bit of scaffold.

We have really struck some luck with the apartment that we are renting.It's huge, a spare bedroom.and amazingly light - big windows to every room, even the bathroom. A kitchen that's big enough to sit in, a terrace outside the kitchen large enough to eat on. Another terrace overlooking Calle Del Tentor. Lou has her easel set up in a corner with two windows, one of which gives a view of the campanile of San Marco. We're about 50 metres from Campo San Giacomo, which is alive with children when school finishes.

Downstairs there is a busy pizza place, also a bar that seems to trade fairly late of an evening. We'll patronise that bar a bit in future, and they will come to know the standard order of one Aperol and one Campari spritz.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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I think we went to that bar in January while waiting for our table at La Zucca. It's clientele seemed mostly young and local, including dogs.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:00 AM
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How lovely to be able to follow your time in Venice, Peter - we'll be there in September for our first visit, so I'll enjoy reading your reports. Di
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