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.