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August 2010 Archives

August 1, 2010

Sunday Slow Sides: Tomatoes


I've been participating in another Slow Travel cooking challenge though I haven't found time to blog about it. So this is a catch-up post.

This week's ingredient is tomatoes and the recipe is Fresh Uncooked Tomato Sauce, selected by Nancy of A Winelover's Wanderings. Perfect timing for this choice since I've been picking tomatoes from my garden every day for several weeks now.

This couldn't be easier. Chop tomatoes, onions, garlic, a banana pepper, and fresh herbs (I used basil, thyme, and chives). Combine them in a bowl, add some olive oil and salt/pepper, and let it sit at room temperature for a while. Cook some pasta, add to the sauce, add some cheese, and it's done. You can only make this in the summer when the tomatoes are sun-ripened and either homegrown or from the farmer's market (don't try this in the winter with grocery store tomatoes!).

Here's the sauce before I added the pasta. So beautiful! Everything came from my garden except the onion. Thanks Nancy, this was a great choice.


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August 3, 2010

San Simeon Piccolo


This is the first church in Venice that many visitors see because of its location across from the train station and also because there’s just no way to miss that huge green dome.

John Ruskin didn’t mince words about this one:

“One of the ugliest churches in Venice or elsewhere.”

I’m inclined to agree with him except for the fact that I’ve never actually seen this church except in photos; every time I’ve been to Venice, the façade has been covered over with scaffolding. The advertisements seem to change regularly and there was some controversy a few years ago when there was a fashion ad with a naked woman (that one didn’t stay up very long). I was lucky to get the marginally more tasteful kick-boxing ballerina in my photo above. :)

Ruskin’s rant about this church goes on to compare the church’s “black” dome to “an unusual species of gasometer.” At some point after Ruskin saw it, the dome was recovered with copper which turned green, though I doubt Ruskin would have seen this as an improvement. Everyone loves to bash this church – it’s probably legend, but supposedly Napoleon quipped that he’d seen churches without domes but he’d never seen a dome without a church until he saw this one. Pretty funny, whoever said it.

A view from the back, in the fog~


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August 4, 2010

News about a couple of shrines

Seems like there's been a rash of vandalism in Venice this year – Senor Rioba’s head, a fire that might have been arson at the church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti (Ospedaletto), and even a couple of shrines (but with happy endings though).

One of the many Venice blogs that I enjoy reading, the Alloggi Barbaria blog is unique because the author actually lives in Venice and keeps all of us far-flung Venice lovers posted about news from the city. After I read about these vandalized shrines, I checked my photos and I had visited both of them.

Ponte Tetta

This Castello shrine guards the bridge, Ponte Tetta. It’s a beautiful shrine but was very weather beaten when I saw it. The vandalism led to a complete restoration and now it looks fantastic. I can’t wait to see it in person.

The image inside this shrine is rather unusual; it’s a terracotta relief showing The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The relief was carved by Capuchin father Massimiliano Vaiente in1980.


This sweet little shrine is inside Sotoportego Del Fontego, close to campo Santa Margherita. The icon inside this one is a statue of Our Lady wearing a crown. The first post I read showed the empty shrine with crime scene tape on it, a horrible sight! Then later came the good news that the icon was found and is now safe in the sacristy of the nearby church of the Carmini. I hope that this shrine will be restored too.


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August 6, 2010

PhotoHunt: Colorful


This week's theme is "Colorful."

Another fun theme but challenging because there are just so many choices!

A shop window in Venice (I looked but didn't buy)~

glass in Venice

Poppies in glass jars at the farmer's market here in NC~


Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


August 10, 2010

Adventures with Ruth (in Venice)

Last weekend, I watched the Venice episode of Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth, a series showing on my local PBS channel. It was a wonderful show, mainly about food but with some lovely scenes of Venice interspersed with the cooking class that Ruth Reichl and actress Dianne Wiest took with Venetian contessa Enrica Rocca.

The show opens with the bells of Venice, always a magical sound. There’s some nice footage of the Rialto market, and another scene where they go to eat chichetti and drink a Spritz. They also visit the incredible San Polo chocolate shop, VizioVirtù. The dishes they made included shrimp risotto and tiramisu. I was inspired to make the peperonata in saor (pan-fried bell peppers). Mine came out a bit soupier than the photo on the Gourmet website, but the flavor was fantastic.

Peperonata in saor

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August 13, 2010

PhotoHunt: Orange


This week's theme is "Orange."

I love color themes. I posted an orange Venetian sunset the first time we did this theme. This time I'm staying closer to home~

My sweet orange cat, LuLu~


Bumblebee on an orange flower. I think this flower is called Butterfly Weed but I'm not sure.~


Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


August 17, 2010

Santa Caterina

Santa Caterina

A deconsecrated church in Cannaregio with a couple of great stories and some beautiful art that’s still in Venice though no longer in the church itself...

Santa Caterina was founded in the 11th century as a monastery and then became a convent for Augustinian nuns when a noble nun named Bortolotta Giustianian took over in 1289. The Santa Caterina religious complex included a convent with cloisters and this 15th century Gothic church that has a wooden ship’s keel ceiling and a large barco (singing gallery) for the nuns.

The first story concerns Bortolotta’s parents. Her father, nobleman Nicolo Giustinian, was a monk out on the Lido and after the plague wiped out his whole family, he received papal permission to leave the monastery and marry so the family line would continue. He married a woman with religious leanings herself and they had eight children in eight years, and then he returned to the monastery and his wife entered a convent.

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August 20, 2010

PhotoHunt: Numerical


This week's theme is "Numerical."

Tough theme! I had to look for a while before I found photos of this scupture with a vaguely numerical inspiration.

It's called "All the Possibilites of Stacking Up to Two Cubed to Sit On" by artist Vernon Pratt. This sculpture is outside the Durham Arts Council building.

I have a hazy memory of doing math problems like this in school many years ago. Makes me glad my math class days are over!



Durham Arts Council

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


August 24, 2010


Sant' Anna

I was eager to find this one, not just because it’s the church of my name saint, but also because I wasn’t sure if this church was still standing or not (it’s not included on the Patriarch of Venice list which does include other closed and deconsecrated churches). I found Sant’ Anna and it’s there, barely, stripped and crumbling with broken windows.

The church of Sant’ Anna was built in 1242 along with a Benedictine convent and dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. The church was remodeled in 1634, and then the entire religious complex was suppressed and closed by the French in 1807. The convent later became a naval hospice and then private residences, but the church has just been sitting there for a couple of centuries. Five altars from Sant’Anna were moved to the church of San Biagio close to the Arsenale. The church building is no longer even owned by the Church, it’s now city property and who knows what if anything will ever be done with it.

Even so, there are a couple of good stories about this one, both connected to the nuns. The photo below shows the courtyard with the church to the left and the convent to the right.

Sant' Anna

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August 27, 2010

PhotoHunt: Framed


This week's theme is "Framed."

There are hundreds of street shrines in Venice....here are just a few, framed with stone.







Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in August 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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