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Anna's Vanity Website: Venice April 2004

In April 2004 I realized my dream. As a present to celebrate my graduation from the university, my godmother and I came to Venice for 4 days.... Beav said, "I'll take care of travel arrangements, and let you worry about the itinerary!" So we ended up looking at architecture and costumes. We didn't visit any of the many art museums (hoards) in the city, even though we did end up seeing a fair amount of paintings!

Ca'Rezzonico was an amazing museum / house. Room after room, heaving with paintings, furniture, sculpture... Ceilings by Tiepolo, a room dedicated to Longhi, plus one of my favorite Guardi paintings. It was just an 18th century fanatic's wet dream.

Unfortunately they did not allow photographs inside, so I had to stop taking photos as I walked into the first room - a stupendous ballroom. However, the place is so big, there were a few small rooms without any attendants. I snapped a couple of pictures inside. These are the little raggedy rooms off in a corner, though.

Infamous 18th century covered gondolas, known hiding places of clandestine lovers (a la Casanova). They stopped using these, and I don't know the history behind that.

A formal garden out back. Sure, it's tiny compared to the gardens of Versailles, but think about the cost of the land in Venice. There is literally a finite supply! Having a garden like this would be a hugely expensive luxury. Look! A tree grows in Venice!

Both of these shots were taken out the windows of Ca'Rezzonico from the third story, which is a modest (on the Venetian scale) modern-style art gallery. The view through the leaded pane is the neighbors along the Grand Canal. Ca'Foscari has a big blocky cover over it - the facade was getting some work done. The other view was the view to the back. God I love those red tile roofs.

La Pieta
The church was home base to Vivaldi. They also were an orphanage. This sign was embedded into the side of the church, and makes dire threats against any parents who want to send their "orphans" to live in the orphanage. Real orphans only! Sorry I can't offer a translation - don't speak Italian.

The church itself was OK, but it was completely redone some time after Vivaldi's stay, so the facade wasn't of such immediate interest to me.
Palazzo Mocenigo
Another gorgeous house, perhaps not as amazing as Ca'Rezzonico, however this was a great place for three reasons: (1) Non-flash photography was permitted, (2) They are also a costume library-- I saw the books! (3) They have original 18c clothes in the rooms!

Lou and Chuck

This house had my favorite spun-sugar chandeliers of any of the palaces we visited. Most places had a lot of colored glass in the design, but at Mocenigo they were almost completely just clear glass. It looked exactly like they were made of sugar.

i Costumi
Children's clothes - little boy's red banyan and a little girl's green dress



Accessories - pink clocked stockings, drool-worthy paste shoe buckles, etc..

Il Ridotto
I found the address for the very much (in)famous Ridotto. 1332 S. Marco is now a hotel. No trace of its former identity... How many fortunes were made or ruined in there! People were wondering why I was taking pictures of a random brick facade.
The painting is by Guardi, giving you an idea of what used to go down. Gambling and debauch central.

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Perhaps my favorite church in Venice. Huge cavernous place filled with amazing wonders.

Chapel of Corner family
The Cloisters
Tomb of Doge Foscari
Tomb of Melchiorre Trevisan

San Zaccaria
Another Bloody Church - getting burned out on beautiful churches at this point. This one was started in Gothic style and finished during Renaissance period. Sorta-but-not-really like the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, with its copper roofed renaissance towers glued onto a high gothic base.

Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace)

We saved the "best" for last and visited the Doge's palace and the Basilica San Marco on our last day in town.

bocca dei leone - a slot to place your anonymous denunciations. A city full of spies!

No photos permitted in the Doge's quarters, but once again I disobeyed and look at the great shots... The gilt wood stuff was the ceiling. My godmother is looking out the window into the courtyard. That one of the chandelier is the best photo I've ever taken.

Basilica San Marco
The best part about this place was the marble mosaic floors, but no photos inside, so I can't show them to you! I was uninspired about getting pics of the facade - Everybody takes that shot!

The "haunted" palazzo. It really has personality! This is a pretty old structure and it's settled a lot, so it looks all crooked from the front. Also notice the chimney-tops. Hundreds of years ago, the city skyline was bristling with these funny bucket-shaped chimney tops, but today few of them survive. You'll notice them in old paintings.The back side has a tiny walled yard.

Other places

Campo S Stefano

Palazzo Pisani Gritti - side view

the prisons adjacent to the doge's palace - these were appropriately medieval, horrid little stone holes. It would have been nightmarish but I think they try to keep it as cheery as possible, immaculately swept clean and lots of light. It looks like a movie set! A very literal example of the dirty side of power. The palace and the prisons are like Jekyll and Hyde

General shots taken in the city

View from out hotel, the Hotel Agli Alboretti

View from the Accademia bridge