Monday 26 September 2016


Above is the view from my hotel room, looking over to the Giudecca and Palladio's Redentore, the most intellectually rigorous of his Venetian churches, a brilliant exercise in pure architecture. Oddly the fa├žade - one that repays endless contemplation - looks better close up than it does from across the canal. Which is a pity, in view of its location...
 And below is the same view obscured by one of the monstrous cruise liners that sail into Venice every day to tie up and disgorge their thousands of day trippers into the clogged streets around San Marco.

These gigantic floating hotels are extremely unpopular with the locals. Stickers and banners proclaiming 'NO Grandi Navi' are everywhere in the city, and on the day we left a big demonstration against them was just getting under way. The administration, however, having effectively bankrupted the city, has little choice but to encourage anything that brings in money. A sad state of affairs, but such is the resilience of Venice and the Venetians that you feel they will somehow survive and thrive, come what may.


  1. Thanks for the tip on the Acqua Alta. I read your post after spending the morning in Zanipolo where I loved Lorenzo Lotto's Sant'Antonino giving out alms and Veronese's Adoration with a shepherd peaking round the corner of the stable.

    Palladio's first church facade is 50 yards from my street corner flat at San Francesco della Vigna. This Sansovino church is secreted away from the bustle but boasts a Resurrection by Veronese (whose Holy Family is also here) and another, perhaps dubiously attributed to Giorgione as well as marvellous Tullio Lombardo bas-reliefs. There are even Tiepolo frescoes and a Bellini Madonna. Best is a Madonna and Child by Negroponte with marvellous birds and flowers. I used a pocketful of 20 centime coins for the illuminazione.

    Below are a couple of "Letters from Venice" if it takes your fancy. Sounds like you had a great time. Will be seeking out the Palladio, perhaps in an additional trip to Vicenza.

    Delighted to hear about Fortuny who appears in "A la Recherche", his gowns being worn by the Duchesse de Guermantes and Albertine, courtesy of the author.
    The most exquisite passages on Carpaccio and Venice in the same book as I'm sure you know.

  2. Absolutely - Zanipolo and its campo just about my favourite bit of Venice I think. And S Francesco della Vigna a real hidden gem. They're still working on S Sebastian (the Veronese church) but it's stunning as it is. And I found S Zaccaria even more amazing this time round. Ah Venice...

  3. Will add the last two to my very long list. Thanks for the lovely Klee and Chagall. Was wondering if you'll make it to Portsmouth one day to see the Edward King. Would love to hear your views on his work.