Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Full Day in Venice

Off to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace). I was really glad I signed up for the Secret Itineraries tour. It was the most English I heard in days (1.5 hours worth!). Here is the courtyard prior to the tour where I waited on a bench with a yellow English sticker.

The golden hallway heading to the third floor which was divided into two levels (think Being John Malkovich's 7 1/2 floor in terms of claustrophobia). The tour guide opened a door and all of a sudden everything was made of wood and we were in the area where the equivalent of the Secret Service worked. It also was the location where the archives were once held of all the important event's in Venice's history filed under a system of paintings with the Doge's family coat of arms.

We also saw the "upscale" prisons where Cassonova was kept and where he escaped. The torture chamber was also on the agenda. All of this was located in the windows seen in the bottom portion of this photograph below.

After the tour, I wandered through the giant hallways filled with paintings from dozens of Venetian artists. The Veronese paintings were probably my favorites of the day ("probably" because I'm still a Tintoretto fan). I waited in line to take the elevator to the top of the crowded Campanile for some incredible views of Venice. San Giorgio Maggiore below.

If you look closely you can see Anish Kapoor's Ascension protruding from the church.

Piazzo San Marco - setting up for the Sting concert that would take place a couple days later.

I could watch the boat traffic all day. Questions that arose: is there AAA for boats? What happens when you run out gas? How do you pull over into the shoulder? How often to the police boats pull over speeders? How do you signal? Clearly I need boat training.

The crowded view facing S. Maria d. Salute. I realized this had photographic (i.e. Martin Parr) potential when I accidentally left the flash on.

While waiting to get to the perfect uncrowded view, I began to take photographs of other people blocking my way.

After the Campanile, I had every intention of hopping the vaporetto to Certosa to see the Rebel exhibition but for some unknown reason, the vaporetto service was operating on 1/4 capacity on a Friday in the height of tourist season (enter great annoyance that my 3-day pass became useless on the third day). I finished the day by walking to the Rialto Bridge through San Marco, back to the Arsenale to photography Julian Schnabel on a trashcan, and then Zattere to leave for Florence in the late morning.

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