Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gobsmacked by Venice

Today's journeys through the twisty streets of Venice simply gobsmacked me. 

Canals are everywhere, which is easy to say and completely obvious, but until it sinks in, you have no chance of really getting this place.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

Art is also all around.  On a random wall in a narrow alley on the way to the Accademia. 

Or in the facade of the grand old buildings that fill the city. 

Or even in the acts of lovers: Paris, of course, had love locks, but so did Florence, and so does Venice.

Today, though, the most compelling, mind-boggling art stood in the galleries of the Accademia.  Tintoretto, Carpaccio, Titian, Veronese--gigantic works by these great masters and many more filled room after room of this wonderful museum.  Carpaccio and Veronese particularly grabbed my heart with technique and emotion that would not let go of my gaze. 

In one room of the Accademia, one very big room, stands the largest known oil painting, a huge piece by Veronese. 

Yes, they forbid photography, but I had to show you.  Ten other huge paintings fill this room, though this piece dominates them all. 

No book can ever prepare you for this room.  Unless you visit it, you cannot fully grasp the scale on which these men were working.  I feel blessed and fortunate to have been able to come here.  I wish I could bring everyone I know here.  Rooms like this are reason enough to justify the expense to create lifelike virtual reality on a gigantic scale. 

If you ever go to Venice, do not miss the Accademia.

On a more mundane note, Venice also offers great gelato at...the Grom!

Ah, the Grom was tasty today.

On the way back from dinner, Venice hit me one last time, as the water literally bubbling up through vents in the Piazza San Marco slowly flooded it and made it viscerally, not just intellectually, clear that this city is fighting a losing battle against the water on which it sits. 

I hope Venice and its citizens keep up the fight for a very long time to come. 

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