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February 2012 Archives

February 1, 2012

C is for Capitelli

Capitelli is the Italian word for shrines (singular: capitello), one of my favorite things to look for and find as I wander around Venice. Actually, there are several Italian "C" words connected to shrines.

Venice was one of the first cities in the world with an organized plan to light its streets at night. In 1128, the Doge of the Venetian Republic issued a decree that oil lamps in the shrines should be lit each evening at nightfall, a Middle Ages public works project-of-sorts. Venetians called these lamps cesendeli because the small flickering flames reminded them of fireflies (cicendelae). I love to imagine seeing the city when the shrines were the main source of light.

So here are a few capitelli. A shrine is usually a niche or a tabernacle with a sacred image inside. The vast majority of the shrines in Venice are dedicated to the Madonna with San Antonio (St. Anthony) a distant second.


Some of the capitelli are small and simple like this little niche that houses a statue of San Antonio holding the baby Jesus~


Giudecca


Others are larger and more elaborate~


Giudecca


Some of them still have lights inside, electric lights now~


Santa Croce 774


I love the ones with flowers~


Dorsoduro 538


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February 3, 2012

Twigs and Dedication

I'm participating in two PhotoHunts this weekend.

First up, the theme for this week's Saturday Photo Hunting is "twigs."

I took this photo this past November when the color of the leaves caught my eye. The more I look at it, the more I realize that the twig is tiny compared to the leaves. Must be stronger than it looks.


And next, I was happy to learn that long-time fellow photohunter, Archie (of Archie's Archives) has started a theme-based photo meme called Friday Foto Finder. This week's theme is "dedication."

As I wrote earlier this week, most of the street shrines in Venice are dedicated to the Madonna. But here's one that's different - this shrine is dedicated to Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) and can be found in the campo outside the church that is co-dedicated to her and San Geremia.

Cannaregio 271


Thanks for visiting!

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

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The Foto Find Challenges are here.

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February 7, 2012

D is for Doors

Here's a small collection of water doors (porte d'acqua) in Venice (there are hundreds of these in the city of canals).

Hard to tell if some of these are still being used or not. A couple of them aren't even doors anymore!

water door


water door


water door


A beautiful former door~


former door


Not sure about this one but it looks like the door is now two windows, maybe?~


water door


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February 10, 2012

Vintage

The theme for this week's Saturday Photo Hunt is "vintage."

A vintage street sign in Venice with the name of the street (Calle Cappello) carved in stone. There aren't many of these around the city anymore.

Calle Cappello


These days, the street signs in Venice look like this. Not as artistic but easier to read~


street sign


And here's a vintage metal sign pointing the way to the Scuola di San Rocco, which is filled to overflowing with paintings by Tintoretto. These old metal signs directing people to various historic sights have been mostly replaced by signs made out of some modern weather-proof material.


219

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

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February 14, 2012

E is for Emperor

There are thousands of pieces of art on the streets of Venice (“scultura esterna” means “outdoor sculpture"), and this emperor is one of the most interesting and also most mysterious. Everyone agrees that he’s a Byzantine emperor but which one? When and how did he end up in Venice? And were there once two of them, now separated?

Campiello Angaran

Some sources believe that this marble medallion shows Emperor Leo VI the Wise, who ruled the Byzantine empire from 886-911 AD. Others think that the relief shows Emperor Isaac II Angelus (1185-1195) or perhaps his brother, Alexis.

There’s a similar piece in the Byzantine collection at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. This other medallion came from Venice and might have been a companion piece to the one still there, leading to the possibility that the emperors depicted were father and son team, Alexios I and John II, who reigned jointly (1092-1118).

Most sources think that the sculpture was brought to Venice from Constantinople along with so much other loot the Venetians stole from that city during the Crusades. But there’s another story that a Venetian general sent the medallion home to Venice from the Holy Land as a spoil of war in 1256.

Campiello Angaran

What’s amazing to me is that it’s still outside, exposed to the elements, and not in a museum. Evidently museums have tried to acquire it, but the owners of the house where it resides won’t give it up (though they have allowed it to be removed and exhibited at times).

The photos below show the entrance to the house (in Campiello Angaran close to the church of San Pantalon) and there’s another mystery, the four scallop shells flanking the emperor. The scallop shell is a symbol of St. James but why are they there? And something I just noticed last night. The first photo was taken in 2008, the second in 2010, and you can see that some pink stucco was added but only to the right side. Why only half?

Many unanswered questions!


Campiello Angaran


Campiello Angaran

Visit the home of ABC Wednesday to find more Round 10 participants!

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February 17, 2012

Circles

The theme for this week's Saturday Photo Hunt is "circles."

I love this theme even though I seem to take many photos of circles and it was tough to narrow it down. Here's a small collection of circles that can be found in Venice~

San Marco 4864


Dorsoduro 3254/A


San Trovaso


Cannaregio

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

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February 21, 2012

F is for Faces

A couple of years ago, I posted some photos of the Faces of Venice and since this is "F" week, I thought I'd share some more. Some of these might be familiar if you've been to Venice before. Some of them are fading beauties, others are just strange! All of them can be found outside while walking around the city.


San Zaccaria


Castello 2570


San Marco



Castello 2581 A


Dorsoduro


Visit the home of ABC Wednesday to find more Round 10 participants!

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February 24, 2012

PhotoHunt: Old

Old is relative, of course, and some things that Americans think are old are modern when compared to the European timeline.

So here are some old photographs of Venice, all taken in the late-19th century which makes them over 100 years old, which isn't old at all in terms of the history of Venice but IS old in the history of photography. (You can click on the photos to see larger sizes).


Some of you will recognize this vera da pozzo (well-head) - no longer in use today but still there for us to admire.


well


Pigeons swarming a child - a sight I've seen in Venice myself!


pigeons

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

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February 28, 2012

G is for Graffiti

Is it art or is it vandalism? Or maybe both? I'm not sure, but there's no doubt that Venice has a graffiti problem. There's way too much of it, it's all over the place, and most of it is ugly meaningless eyesore gibberish on so many of those beautiful historic buildings.

Someone told me that the city of Venice does have a graffiti removal team but that its entire budget goes towards keeping the Piazza San Marco area clean. That explains why there's graffiti in other parts of the city that lingers for years. Like this guy - I've seen him every time I've visited Venice!

Venice graffiti

This insect (?) with a red heart in a net has been there for years too.

Santa Croce

So I guess I lean more towards the vandalism side of the debate but even so, I do sometimes see graffiti that catches my eye or makes me smile.

graffiti


stencil


stencil


There's something poignant about this guy. Who? And why is so much of this graffiti in English???

Who?


And while it's crazy that anyone would even consider putting graffiti on a church, I have to confess that I laughed when I saw this on the deconsecrated church of San Toma.

San Toma

Visit the home of ABC Wednesday to find more Round 10 participants!

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This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in February 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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