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Restoration report

SalutebeehiveIt’s always interesting to check out the ongoing restoration work and see what’s covered and what’s been unveiled. Work is going on right now at three major landmarks: Piazza San Marco, the Salute, and the Accademia. The dome of the Salute looks like some kind of spaceship or alien beehive to me. Strangest scaffolding I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t see any work going on while I was there. I hope it’s really restoration work and not some kind of permanent metal brace to hold that beautiful dome up!

The Accademia, while still open, is completely shrouded with scaffolding and the inside is in a bit of disarray. This is a project I’m very excited about – they are expanding the museum in order to put more of the collection on display; evidently there’s quite a bit of art in storage (250 paintings!) which will be displayed when the work is done.

I feel a bit sorry for people who are visiting Venice for the first time because there’s a lot of work going on in Piazza San Marco and that first breath-taking view of the Basilica just isn’t there right now. There are fences and scaffolding around the flag poles in front, and several sections of the Basilica itself are covered up. And right before I left, they began fencing off the campanile in preparation for restoration work which is supposed to continue until 2009. You can see all the fencing and such on the webcam.

Manin tombIt’s always exciting to see the freshly restored stuff. There’s an unveiled section of the Basilica that I’d never seen before (the part with Daniele Manin’s tomb, see right). The façade of San Zaccaria was draped last year but it’s uncovered now and looks amazing, and the high altar of the Gesuiti is visible now in all its Rococo glory. I finally got to see the Bellini painting in the church of San Giovanni Grisostomo; it was gone for a couple of years while work was going on inside that church. I also saw the recently restored frescoes in the sacristy of San Salvador for the first time, and they are gorgeous!

In other restoration news, the façade of San Simeon Piccolo is still covered up with an Armani ad but the church is open for Mass. The church of San Michele in Isola is closed for restoration as is Sant' Isepo. San Sebastiano is open but there’s a lot of work going on inside, and some altars and the floor are covered. There’s also restoration work going on inside San Pietro in Castello; the church is open but several of the chapels are draped and St. Peter’s Throne has been moved out. Several of those old lions at the Arsenale are draped. The Scala del Bovolo is closed; you can see the spiral staircase but the rest of the building is covered and you can't climb the stairs right now.

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Comments (5)

Hi and happy New Year! I'm very much looking forward to returning to Venice in three months.

When I took Alessandro to Modena (the family home) last October, a lot of the Cathedral was under scaffolding and I had to crop photos of him in front of it after I got home so as to not show it.

I took so many pictures of him in front of the magnificent stone lions out the front of the church.

It was fun taking him back there, he hadn't been since he was a baby.


We were unsuccessful in our attempt to climb the Scala del Bovolo too - and were quite disappointed after managing to find it in the first place!

And I hadn't thought of the Salute scaffolding being permanent! What a shame that would be - it was there in July, but we saw no signs of work either. Eek!

Interesting that it's been scaffolded since July! I was joking about it being permanent but sometimes these projects can feel that way; I think the clock tower was covered for close to a decade.

Maybe Leslie can give us an update on the Salute when she goes back in April?

Mary K:

We did see some workmen going up the scaffolding in January - quite a performance as well as they do up on a large platform on the back side of the scaffolding.

Thanks for the update, Mary K. I bet that was a sight to see. Glad to hear that work is progressing and maybe we'll be able to see the Salute again sooner rather than later.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you had a wonderful time in Venice.

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