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The Flight of La Povera

The Flight of La Povera

Yesterday, the sandolo flew, and so did I. It had been in the workshop for a couple of weeks, recovering from time spent largely submerged. My father and I walked the long oar across town, carefully navigating the crowds. My mother took the vaporetto, with a cart full of floorboards. The board was perched near the entrance, ready for its departure. The crane took it up into the blue of the sky above, a flying boat, before depositing it on the edge of the north lagoon. My father rowed me home, my last moments in Venice spent on the water.

Earlier that day, we caught "Venezia che spera", one of many exhibits on the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. Highlights included Ipolito Caffi's sketchbooks; a number of stereotypes which I was successfully able to resolve with my eyes; a fascinating group of images portraying Venetian professions (including the professional cat-castrater); mid-nineteenth century maps, with Palmanova on the border between the Veneto and the Austrians; and photographs of churches, now long-since destroyed. After spritz with a friend and a quick lunch at home (featuring very fine chicken broth), we were off to collect the boat, and then I was off to the airport, and back to the UK once more.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
There's a scene in the Japanese anime series, "Aria" where an apprentice gondolier's boat has grown too old to be used any more for practice and it is lifted out of the water to be sold. The picture you show reminded me of that part of the storyline. Thanks.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Very cool! The boat reminds my of my grandfather's pirogue he used to take me fishing in the Pearl River swamps. He used a single scull oar and a push pole to navigate among the cypress trees to his favorite spots. Very quiet.

And speaking of Venice, it's been the location of a couple of alternate history fantasy books recently, The Shadow of the Lion and 1634:The Galileo Affair. Both of these have given me a better understanding of Venice's historical importance. Perhaps you've read them?
Mar. 25th, 2011 09:51 am (UTC)
What a wonderful photo! Thanks for publishing it.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )