Celebrating Our 40th Anniversary in Venice

Venice Travel Blog

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Vittorio and Patrizia had agreed to meet us at 10:00 for a short tour so we were up at 7:00, had breakfast in the garden at 8:30 and mass in Trygars’ room at about 9:15. Vittorio and Patrizia took us first to the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a Franciscan church very near to the hotel. It’s a shame photography was prohibited but, on the other hand, photos would have not begin to capture the impressive architecture, paintings and sculpture. Next we visited La Scuola Grande di San Rocco. This started out as and still is an organization of merchants somewhat like an ancient version of Rotary but the walls and ceilings of their building, started in 1515, have been completely covered by canvases of the painter Tintoretto. Entering on the ground floor, one is overwhelmed by the art works.

The staircase to the upper floor makes a left turn and when you make that turn and look upward to the great upper hall, it’s almost breathtaking. There is so much to see in the great upper hall that it’s got to be material for at least a semester course at an art college. However, the best part is in the third and smallest chamber where one entire wall is devoted to a depiction of the crucifixion. Absolutely amazing. Again, no photos were allowed but they’d have been of little use in any case since nothing could possibly capture the magnificence of this place.. Leaving St. Rocco, Vittorio and Patrizia walked with us for a while towards the Rialto Bridge but then had to say good-bye for their return to Milan.

The Rialto Bridge is absolutely amazing. Like the Ponte Vecchia in Florence, it is lined on both sides with shops but it arches high over the water so the surface is made up of steps rather than a roadway. In addition, there are steps behind the shops as well as between them so there are lots of great opportunities for pictures of the Grand Canal. Continuing further through the maze of streets, alleys and canals, we eventually reached Piazza di San Marco which was by now crowded with tourists. By this time, the earlier clouds had cleared and it was sunny and hot. While the others did some shopping in the gallery of shops surrounding the square, I ran around taking pictures and, that, I think was my downfall because, like a fool, I’d come out without a hat and ended up getting terribly sick from the heat.

Rialto Bridge

Helen felt it was probably a relapse of my troubles on Friday. We stopped for pizza on the walk back to the hotel but I could not finish mine and, by the time we reached the room, I was so sick I went straight to bed and slept for several hours. Dinnertime came and we sent Trygars off on their own because I was in no shape for dinner. I encouraged Linda to go with them but she refused. She had to eat, however, and was reluctant to go out alone so we found a small restaurant, “de La Sandro”, near the hotel and I forced down a bit of spaghetti carbonara. By the time we got back to the room I was quite sick again so I only read for a few minutes, was in bed at 9:00 and put in an absolutely horrible night.

All this would not have been a disaster except that today was our 40th wedding anniversary and we’d planned on a gondola ride to celebrate it in style. To have to cancel out on that was a heartbreaker.

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Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal
St. Marks
St. Mark's
Grand Canal
Grand Canal
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy