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August 2015 Archives

August 10, 2015

Power lines

madonna dell' orto

When I found this early 20th century photo of Madonna dell'Orto, it took a few moments for me to realize, "what's wrong with this picture?"...it's the power poles and power lines standing in the campo in front of the church. They are no longer there - at some point, the various utilities were relocated so that they snake alongside the buildings and aren't free-standing like they were in this photo. A good move - it's hard to imagine Venice with poles blocking the views.

In the photo below, you can see some power lines and something else encased in a pipe. I didn't take this photo because of the utilities though. What caught my eye were the two small hearts.


What are they? Two small open hearts surrounded by glass tiles (though some are missing now). Another Venetian mystery!


And you can sometimes see mysterious letters embedded in the Venetian pavement. Just speculation here, but I wonder if these letters might indicate underground utilities. If anyone knows what they are, please share.



And here's one of my favorites shrines in Venice.
Power lines above, graffiti below, fresh flowers in tinfoil vases.


August 26, 2015

Venetian Light


“That the light of Venice differs from that of any other place there can be no doubt, but to discover precisely how it differs is a task that has baffled both writers and painters. (It is worth noting that, whereas most of the best paintings of Rome are by foreigners to the city, only the Venetians have been able to capture the atmosphere of Venice: even Turner and Monet failed, hard though they tried).

It is not, save on fine winter days, a particularly clear light and never as sharp as that of Greece. Usually it is slightly powdery and at evening can take on a rare apricot tinge. One of its peculiarities is that the intensity seems to derive as much from the horizon as from the sun – the result no doubt of reflection from still waters. I, for one, am prepared to leave it at that and accept it as a mysterious enchantment, for mystery is the essence of poetry.”

Hugh Honour, The Companion Guide to Venice


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