Starting the day off with some lovely fruit salad, or macedonia, brought back memories of Milan a few years ago with my family, when we began each morning with fresh fruit just like the one I found in Venice. We settled on the first cafe we saw along the Grand Canal and gathered our thoughts for the day.
I for one wanted to find the Campo San Barnaba, the church where Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed. In the movie it was a library, and you can see a clip (dubbed over in Italian) here.
We stumbled upon a flea market outside of the Museo della Musica, so natural I had to look around ! There were countless trinkets and treasures spanning the decades, and I saw an abundance of luxury Italian marks such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Ferragamo. I saw some lovely glass beads, but I passed on them because the asking price was much too high. Thankfully I was able to find some others later, much prettier !
The Museum of Music is dedicated to mostly medieval instruments, amongst more modern ones. Venice has been linked inextricably to music, first as a place of building instruments, then of publishing, then of composition.
While we were in the museum we saw a poster for a Vivaldi concert by a group called Interpreti Veneziani, playing in a few days. Our interest was piqued, but I’ll have to save that story for a later post.
We continued throughout the city, crossing off things on “the list” here and there. We saw the grand opera house, La Fenice, or “The Phoenix.”
We saw one of the hidden jewels in Venice, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, which translates in Venetian to “staircase of the snail.” You can see why, as it is the highest and finest example of a spiral staircase in Venice.
From there, we went on to Saint Mark’s Plaza and Basilica. What a stunning structure ! Standing in the square and then again once inside, I was in perpetual awe of how these buildings must have been built ! The time it took, the manpower, the energy, the attention to detail, the skill, the craftsmanship. It’s remarkable when you think about it. I’m not sure that such things could be built in the same way today.
From there, we went on to the Chiesa di San Zaccaria, to see the crypt. To be honest, it wasn’t much especially after the glory of Saint Mark’s, but it was something. Earlier in the day when we went by the Church of Saint Barnabas, I recalled the Indiana Jones scene where he crawls up onto the square from the catacombs. That story made me think about the Edgar Allen Poe short story about the Cask of Amontillado .. in which the narrator’s name is Montresor. When I came across – simply strolled by – a box of wine with the label Montresor, it was just one of those times when you know the universe is listening and everything is clicking ! Italy was just what I needed. We rounded off the evening with a nice dinner (yummy pesto gnocchi for me) and headed home.
Keep your eyes peeled for part 3 ..