|Eye on Venice by Rosario Albar|
|A window at Ca d'Oro||Traffic on the Grand Canal||Another window at Ca d'Oro|
|Angel of the Citadel at the Guggenheim|
|A narrow street in Dorsoduro||The leaning tower of Santo Stefano|
|Eye on Venice
On my first trip to Venice in the 70's, I got lost in the maze of streets looking for a church on a Sunday afternoon. I came across some nuns who were happy to show me the way, saving me from my predicament. That experience left a long lasting impression of bewilderment over labyrinthine streets with no way out. Thankfully my recent trip changed all that and I found walking in Venice to be a most enjoyable adventure.
A "must see" in Venice is the Ca' d'Oro, a stunning house overlooking the Grand Canal. It is now a museum and well worth the visit. The gothic windows are impressive, featuring a different design on each floor. Don't miss the entrance to the house from the canal; the mosaic-covered floor is well preserved.
I stayed at the Istituto Artigianelli in Dorsoduro. It is right across from the vaporetto stop, Zattere. Take Line 51 from Piazzale Roma. They charge under $40 (in October 2000) for a single room with toilet and shower, a comfortable rate in expensive Venice. The room is small and spare. Reserve well ahead as this place is always booked. There are several restaurants in the vicinity and a grocery store is only a few blocks away. The Accademia and Guggenheim museums are but a short walk and St. Mark's square is a hop by vaporetto or a 15-minute walk through fascinating neighborhoods, like Santo Stefano with its leaning tower.
The Accademia museum houses the famous painting by Giorgione called "The Tempest". But I was most surprised to see the painting "Last Supper at the House of Levi" here, in full splendor. I remember when it was at the Louvre, in the same room as the Mona Lisa. The painting is back home after a long absence and given a spacious hall it deserves where it can be comfortably viewed, away from the crowds.
There is always a line of people entering St. Mark's basilica. If you would like to attend Mass, enter through the left side door and inform the guard that you are there to worship. Otherwise, you may be denied entry.
Rafaelle is my favorite restaurant in Venice. I found the service to be attentive and the location, off of a narrow canal, provided a romantic setting. It is pricey but you pay for the ambience.
Discover the real Venice. Walk around and get lost!
|Before 6 p.m. at a San Zacaria restaurant|