Saturday 1 January 2022

Buon anno da Venezia

How does this most chimerical cities keep its magic? A too-long absence may have a lot to do with it, but it's a truism to say there's nowhere like this. And we have been fortunate with clear mornings and misty afternoons (the caligo, they call it). Perhaps the above image, looking out to the island cemetery of San Michele from the Fondamenta Nuova, is a little ominous for 2022, but may death eventually come as serenly as this. At nightfall, the picture is even more numinous.

We are quietly and comfortably lodged in an apartment behind the Madonna dell'Orto, my favourite church and area (northern Cannaregio) in the whole of Venice. Still some roses along the wall.

The church itself, with the finest of facades,

had also lost none of its wonder. Maybe I hadn't remembered exactly what Tintoretto canvas was where, and to see so many of them again was awe-inspiring. 

The Presentation of the Virgin remains the one of his I love the most.

Tintoretto is buried here

and the house where he lived and worked has the famous statues of moors and others adjacent (hence the Campo dei Mori before you cross the canal to the church). 

They don't draw attention to the fact that the Bellini Madonna and Child of 1475 was stolen in 1993 - I saw it before then. But I've always loved the Cima opposite more

especially its owl among the ruins

and I didn't remember the charming Tobias and the Angel (aren't they all?) by Titian.

My favourite walk is from here via the Misericordia to the Gesuiti, and by extension heading south through a web of streets to the Miracoli. Happy with all this, even though the end of a cold meant I could still be liable to cough and so I reluctantly gave up my ticket for the New Year's Day Concert in La Fenice. Anyway, it's time for another big stroll, so here are two more personal images - a cow and a macaw along the Fondamenta degli Ormesini (excellent cicchetti here)

and a shop full of Befanas for the next big day (Epiphany, marked here by the witch bringing sacks of coal for naughty children).

It restores happy memories of being here with my godson Alexander and his family when he was four years old, and very much haunted by the story. We still laugh about it.


Liam mansfield said...

Enjoy. Many visitors? Ism sure you could have suppressed the cough and enjoyed the opera house. How many days are you there. A direct train journey from Florence? Trainx busy?

David said...

Mostly Italians, more today than before. Yes, direct from Florence, the Frecciarossa. Not busy at all. Cough consciousness is quite a thing these days. I might, I might not. I told them that if there were space around me I might venture it, but I presume it was filled (unlike the Musikverein which was admitting 1000, still a lot).

Liam mansfield said...

A great train.. also I did Milan to London and had a lovely lunch. Pity about the concert. Yes a cough nowadays is like c aids in the past.. people look at you. So how are you fitting home .the orient Express?

Barbara Amoroso said...

Cannaregio is the only place we stay at in Venice as it is so incredible… the oldest Jewish neighborhood is a jewel and we have the great pleasure to know the Rabbi so it is always like coming back home…

David said...

Liam - no, more or less the way we came, but with train to Milan first before going on to Paris. The route is different from the one I used to know and perhaps more poetic between Chambery and the border.

Barbara - the seal of approval from one who really knows. I'm glad. I love being embraced by this neighbourhood.

Liam mansfield said...

Cambery is magic. Former home of les ducs de savoy. In the past they ruled nice and the shroud now in turin was in nice. Countryside around la grande chartreuse is mindboggling

David said...

Not attractive from what one sees from the train, but then neither are most Italisn cities either. The valley route leading up to it is lovely.

Liam mansfield said...

I stayed inan old family hotel on the outskirts. Hotel prince des galles I think it was. You could here the silence . This effect was excentuated by gliders flying over. Magic

Liam mansfield said...

Whte you now paris?

David said...

Came back on the Eurostar last night. Two extra glorious days in Paris we hadn't planned. And a chance to stay for the first time on the Ile Saint-Louis.