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.