April 9th, 2010

Fishy Circumstances

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.
Fishy Circumstances

On the bacino



The down side to a conference with seven venues scattered across the city is that it is often logistically impossible to get from one to another in the given half-hour break between sessions. The up side is that some of these venues are spectacular: painted panels across all walls, cloisters of green for refreshment between sessions, and wide expanses of water. The Cini Foundation is on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, reachable only by boat - including the #2 vaporetto just coming in and half-hidden behind the lighthouse. (I caught it easily - it was trundling.)

Admire, towards the right, the enormous Bulgari ad, currently encasing the Bridge of Sighs, still under restoration. (Not decipherable here: the Marciana, the library opposite the doge's palace on the piazzetta, is covered in an very large ad for Istanbul.)

Also, I have now met thera_flu: a brief hour for lunch. She is delightful company.