After a hearty breakfast, we headed out to see things that we had never seen before. First stop was the Gallerie d’Accademia, right down from our hotel.
The museum has been around since 1750, as an art museum. What I found hard to believe is that, with all the national treasures, there is very little security in the building. You could touch the art/paintings and no one was monitoring the rooms. It also appears that some of the building hasn’t been modified since it was initially built.
But the art is phenomenal; one of my favorite pieces is Titians ‘Presentation of the Young Virgin’. It covers an entire wall, with a portion of it cut out to accommodate the door.
There are some renown master, including Titian, Bellini, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Feast at the House of Levy was originally called ‘The Last Supper’ and commissioned for a convent. It was considered too secular, so the artist changed the title with a stroke of the paintbrush.
Here are some of my favorites:
Visions of the Hereafter
Crucifixion of Saint Peter
Raising of Lazarus
The Wisdom of Solomon
Paris and Helen – the two who started it all!
And of course, you need to have some guardians.
After the Accademia, we trucked over to Santa Maria della Salute to get tickets for a concert this evening. While we were at it, we visited the church. It has statues of the four apostles on the outside, but much simpler inside. Salute is also know as Saint Mary of Health, because of people of Venice prayed here in 1630 for Mary to stop, or at least minimize the plague that ravaged Europe. As a result, only 1 out of every 3 Venetians dies, compared to the rest of Europe.
The inside is arranged so that you can only see one of the chapels at a time, each one decorated in a different style.
In November, the people of Venice construct a wooden bridge from Saint Mark’s to Salute and everyone walks over the bridge to say prayers for their deliverance.
Thought this might be a good replacement for our bishop’s chair at Saint John’s. What do you think?
The high altar is really ornate and the floor is designed to reflect sun from the dome.
All sides of the basilica is ornate on the outside and the statue of Mary on top is dressed in an admiral’s uniform, for protecting the people from threat from the sea.
I said we went to get tickets of a concert. . .it was sponsored by the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation. Karen saw the brochure by chance at the hotel and it featured a program of 23 American songs, some newly composed by a local composer named Lucca Mosca, intermingled with songs from American movies of the 30-40’s. Her interest was piqued, and we hunted down the concert and went. Because of lack of information it was not easy to find location or price of tickets, and the search took us walking through areas of Venice we would have otherwise never seen.
The composition is meant to be sung without pause (Winterreisse) by one singer and fourteen instrumentalists, including guitar, harp, electric keyboard, accordion, piano, and several traditional brass, strings and winds. The audience were all upscale locals, probably musicians and ‘conescenti’ of the arts world. No one spoke to us . . . it was okay!
The singer, a soprano named Christine Zavalonni, is obviously a local favorite who specializes in multiple vocal genres, but not in singing well. Her performance style was way ‘over the top’ and was a bit like a hummingbird on crack. All the songs were in English, but that was not clear in many cases. The concept was interesting, the instrumental ensemble (entitled ‘Uberbrettl’) was excellent and the conductor was amazing. This concert allowed us to glimpse a slice of contemporary Venetian life beyond tours and tourism, and we were glad we went. Miss Zavalonni best not quit her day job.
After the concert we went to Saint Mark’s plaza and listened to an orchestra at Laverna (the Florian has already covered their piano). The orchestra (flute, violin, accordion and piano alternated between show tunes and operatic fare.
Sitting there sipping Irish coffee (Karen) and Cheri Cheri, under the muted light of the basilica, it came over us that this could be the last time we were in Venice. Each time we have been here, we always knew that we would return. Not that we think anything untoward will happen, but . . .
This was our fullest day, by far. . . my Fitbit said I walked 12,680 steps!!! a new record for me. That is equivalent to 5.4 miles.
Tomorrow is our last day, and our legs and feet will determine what we will be doing. There are still lots of things we have not seen; you could probably stay a week and still leave with sights unseen.