Let’s continue our wanderings around La Serenissima.
Starting with yet another elevated viewpoint – the top landing of Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
It is not as high as some of the other platforms we already visited. Nonetheless, it offers excellent perspectives toward major landmarks. Close proximity of rooflines provides a different visual feel.
The surrounding courtyard is too small to fit in a good close-up angle of the exquisite staircase – this is the best I could do.
The next view is of Rio di San Severo, from the balcony of Palazzo Grimani.
Palazzo Grimani is all about amazing ceilings and stately rooms adorned with statuary.
Walking through the museum, you eventually reach this portal, and beyond that, its pièce de résistance, the room called Domus.
A few of the exceptional details of Ca’ d’Oro courtyard.
Ca’ d’Oro is one of the top art museums in Venice, offering an excellent bonus of terraces opening directly onto the Grand Canal, with a close view of the Rialto Market area.
View over Rio della Tetta from the terrace of Acqua Alta book store.
The libreria was the only place that I entered in all of my wanderings around town that was really crowded. Tight confines, lots of people – every photographic angle was full of posing strangers. As a result, I failed to capture anything of passable quality that illustrates the shop’s uncommon feel. For instance, in the shot above, I am actually standing on a staircase-slash-platform that is built out of old books. Any attempt to photograph those steps would have to include other people climbing the steps for a shot of themselves. I suppose I could get in line and ask someone to take a snapshot of me on the steps, but I only went around the line to the top of the platform to get the shot above. Oh, well, can’t win them all…
The flags on the right in the next perspective mark the place I just was at. In the middle of the frame now is Palazzo Tetta. It looks as if it’s an island in itself, which makes this perspective fairly frequently captured in various Venetian travelogues.
Examples of Venetian Gothic and Renaissance that are found on many squares vie with canals in terms of the eye-catching quotient.
A café on a quiet square facing a canal crossed by a bridge, and overlooked by a balcony with flowerpots – all of that comes together as a most pleasing composition.
You can always count on a gondola to liven up a canal view.
The church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli is bashfully tucked away in the background of this perspective.
It is just a few steps from the major tourist paths but could really be in another world, so peaceful is its parish. It is also one of the most unusual churches in all of Venice, with a compact column-less marble nave leading to the elevated altar area.
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the adjoining Scuola Grande di San Marco are another top sight in town. We saw examples of “great schools” and their most luxurious interiors in the previous installment. In the case of Scuola di San Marco, the exterior is enough to bowl you over.
Inside the school is the museum of medicine. Inside the basilica is the display of ecclesiastical arts on par or even better than at the Frari (that we have also seen in the last installment).
A couple of interior shots of a beautiful Baroque church of Santa Maria Assunta detta I Gesuiti.
Part of my itinerary was a trip to the island of San Michele, the city cemetery, which happens to be the resting place of several of my famous compatriots, such as Nobel Laureate Iosif Brodsky…
… composer Igor Stravinsky …
… or ballet impresario Sergej Diagilev.
This is both a historic and an active cemetery – flowers adorn many burial spots of passed locals.
In the channel separating the Venetian “mainland” from San Michele stands a bronze statue of Dante and Virgil in a gondola. Its official name is “Dante’s Barge”.
Let’s not end on a funereal note but instead take a glimpse of the very 21st-century expression of undying affection, the love locks.
Still more to come.