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Over and under



I know. It doesn't look like much. A grotty window, a couple of tarped boats, a low, low bridge over a canal. This is the canal which runs under the church of S. Stefano, in a series of low-slung buildings. Back before Venice infilled all those Rii Terà, there were more such low canals which ran under and into buildings. (Into, that is, for ease of the delivery of passengers and goods.)

Today, in a gap between conference sessions, printperson took me to see it. It's in a neglected ex-monastery, a series of leafy, slightly overgrown, neglected courtyards, a more rural Venice. The complex is vaguely occupied by assorted tax offices, but none of that gets in the way of seeing the remains of the courtyards and their connecting passages. One of those connecting passageways runs over the canal, with windows - the other as dirty as this one - on either side through which the water can be glimpsed.

At night, I returned in the sandolo with geesepalace rowing. The water was smooth, plasticly reflective in the darkness. The bridging corridors and chambers of the church and monastery come in four-or-so brick and stone interludes. Tonight, I passed underneath the shadows of a church and then looked up after to admire the crisply clear stars.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
crustycurmudgeo
Apr. 9th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Looks like the settling of the city has made using those tunnels hazardous. Looks like from the picture high tide completely fills them. Oh, I did a little photoshop touch-up on the little picture and it shows more detail. -


I've probably asked you this before, but have you read 'The Shadow of the Lion'? It's about 1537 Venice and the efforts of an unlikely pair of brothers to save the city from an invader. Mercedes Lackey, David Freer and Eric Flint. I liked it and the sequel.
owlfish
Apr. 9th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's neat! (I do like seeing what you do with photos.)

Extreme high tides are always a problem in Venice, but normal high tides, this passage is still navigable. We rowed through within an hour or so of high tide last night and geesepalace was only a little bent over to do so - and he was rowing Venetian-style, so stood up to row.

I think you have, and I still haven't read it, so thank you for the reminder.
owlfish
Apr. 9th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
[Just tried posting a comment and it isn't showing up. How annoying. I'll try again.)

Oh neat! (I do like seeing what you do with photos.)

The low arch may not be quite as low as it looks. geesepalace rowed through within an hour or so of high tide last night. He was rowing Venetian-style, so standing up, and only needed to bend over a little bit to fit.

During high tide, yes, it almost certainly is impassable.

I think you have recommended the book before, but I still haven't read it, so thank you for the reminder.
heleninwales
Apr. 9th, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
It's interesting to compare the two versions of the picture and I'm not sure which I prefer. The original, rather misty and murky view gives a wonderful sense of mystery. I could see it as a book cover or similar.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )