30 Days on the Road in Italy…Day 9: Venice

Come with us as we explore Italy and check out properties for Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals.

Venice gondolaToday, the sun is out and the sky is blue.  It’s a different Venice from the rainy and cold version we have gotten to know over the past few days.  The generous light brings out the colors of the city in a dazzling way that sometimes takes us by surprise.  There are treats for the eye at every turn and down every canal.  The piazzas open up to the brightness and the people seem to be dancing through this fanciful place.

It’s a fine day for photography, and you see evidence of that all around, with everyone taking out their point and shoot digital cameras and their expensive Nikons.  Venice is on display once again.

Venice-crossing the Accademic bridgeToday, our destination is the area that intrigued us the most while doing the apartment visits–the Accademia.  It’s time to see some museums and galleries and get to know Venice a little more intimately. We remember the splendid feeling of crossing the Accademia bridge and walking onto the beautiful streets and walkways of this particular quarter of the city.  Let’s go back!

Venice street beggarWe part company and set a meeting time for lunch.  She will shop and I will take pictures…it’s a perfect plan.  I’m taken by the presence of a woman who is begging.  It’s a common site in Italy, especially in the major cities.  Children are taught at a young age to evoke the poses of great pity.  She goes down on her knees and holds out a used disposable cup from Illy, a brand of coffee.  I am self conscious as I take the picture. Lots of mixed emotions about what I am seeing. A bit of street theater, and a way for her to survive from day to day.

Venice musicianI know that if I walk straight ahead, it will lead me to the Giudecca Canal, with its shops and restaurants along the waterside.  Along the way, there is the sound of a violin solo echoing off the buildings.  There is hardly any foot traffic, but I know this fellow will do well enough today. His hat has been placed on the ground before him.  I put a euro in and ask with a hand signal if I might take his picture.  He is an engaging subject and looks directly into the camera. He tells me his story with his eyes and his music.

Punta della DoganaAfter a pleasant lunch, we cap off the day’s touring with a visit to the modern art museum at Punta della Dogana, at the the very tip of the winding peninsula.  It’s a spectacular position to take in the breadth and width of the Venetian Lagoon and look across to the San Marco neighborhood.  We go inside and see “Mapping the Studio–Artists from the François Pinault Collection“, a stunning and inspiring display, that, in the words of their web site  “posits an analogy between the creativity and intimacy of the artist’s studio and the collector’s deeply passionate vision of art.”  To me, the pieces show off a vibrant aspect of the human spirit that is at times moves from disturbing to uplifting.

That night, we enjoy a presentation of short opera pieces in a theater near Campo Santa Margherita and call it a night.

Tomorrow we will rise early, reclaim our car and drive to Bologna.

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