I walked a lot in Venice. (And occasionally took the vaporetto.) The map of the city on my phone contained well over a hundred various points of interest – museums, churches, squares, bridges, etc. – and every day I followed a route that loosely led me from one to another. “Loosely” in the sense that I tried to minimize the number of times that I checked the map while walking. Along the way, I took shots of whatever struck my fancy at a given moment. In many cases, that was explicitly as a device to recall sights in the future.
For instance, this is Ponte della Costituzione at the western edge of the Grand Canal.
Built by Santiago Calatrava and opened in 2008, it is among the newest additions to over 400 bridges found in Venice, greatly simplifying the walking connection between the automotive-accessible Piazzale Roma and the Santa Lucia train station.
In a rare case of a thought-out composition, a perspective from underneath the bridge, dominated by the impressive dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo.
Roughly the same perspective, now taken while on the bridge, with Ponte degli Scalzi playing a more prominent role in the background.
And now assorted visuals in various parts of town. Starting with Ponte di Papadopoli across Rio Nuovo.
Ponte Fondamenta de la Croce with Chiesa di San Nicola da Tolentino in the background.
Arched entry and then a close-up of Calle della Madonna in Canareggio.
Rio Brazzo with the façade of Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto.
Rio della Sensa.
Campo San Pantalon with the eponymous bridge.
Ponte Chiodo is a stand-out bridge, on account of having no balustrades of any kind.
There are a few other similar non-through crossings that are usually cordoned off and signposted to warn off the trespassers. Ponte Chiodo is an exception in that respect. But I am not aware of any true public-path bridge that would have no hand support for crossing.
Practically every square in town has a well on it. I took pictures of a few, although most ended up pretty dull. An example on Campo San Polo.
The wells are not in use nowadays. Instead, many squares offer drinkable water to passersby via running taps. In some places, they are actually positioned next to the disused wells, such as on Campiello de le Chiovere.
And here is a fun interpretation of the door peephole on Rio di San Falice.
Let’s turn our attention to churches for a bit. There are a hundred and forty of them in Venice – and literally every single one of them has features that are worth checking out, in both architectural and decorative aspects, including dozens of paintings by famous Venetian artists. It should be noted that older churches, largely Romanesque in style, do a great job externally of concealing the fact that there are treasures that can be found within their interiors.
Here is one of the grandest basilicas in all of Venice, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
The Gothic portal provides a singular lovely detail on the otherwise spartan Romanesque façade, and you may be inclined to think that the interior would be similarly sparsely decorated. And if you only throw a quick glance at the vast nave from the doorway, you are not really getting a sense of its richness.
But walk around the church and take a look at the details…
Another example, Sant’Alvise. Its façade is a smaller version of Frari, with even less of a decorative highlight provided by the portal.
And here is what it looks like inside.
Baroque churches, which are usually younger by at least a couple of centuries, have significantly more exuberant exteriors, as well as frequently sensational interiors. Here is an example in Chiesa di Santa Maria di Nazareth.
And here is San Giorgio Maggiore, which we have seen from the distance on occasions before.
When you step inside, the large nave looks relatively muted.
But true to my earlier statement, there is something amazing to see here as well. Go to the choir and check out the carvings adorning the stalls.
For jaw-dropping interiors, “great schools” have to be considered among the most impressive sights in Venice. The name is misleading, as these were not places of learning but rather religious charitable confraternities. One must wonder how much more these organizations could have dispensed in charity if they were not occupied by the grandeur of their gathering halls. Here is Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
And Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.
A modern sculpture called “Burn, Shine, Fly” has been put on the campiello by the Scuola San Giovanni for the Biennale.
As mentioned somewhere in the previous installment, gorgeous ceilings are a staple of Venetian palatial interiors, such as here in Ca’ Rezzonico.
Ca’ Rezzonico has a nice art collection inside the rich palace. Carved furniture is among the more astounding pieces.
A couple of iconic perspectives of Piazzetta San Marco from the water bus deck.
And the same ensemble as seen from the tower of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The tip of Dorsoduro, known as Punta della Dogana, dominated by the grand church of Santa Maria della Salute.
From the edge of San Giorgio Maggiore, the view towards sestiere di Castello across the expanse of water.
And a few of the eye-catching palazzi on the Grand Canal.
To be continued.