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Report 1968: A Month in Venice

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2011

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Page 19 of 28: October 22, 2011 San Giorgio and Il Redentore

photo by BJ Firestone

The Ascension at San Giorgio

Today we decided to go to the Chiesa di San Giorgio in Isola which is on a small island next to the Giudecca and across from S. Marco. We walked a slightly different way through our Castello neighborhood, past S. Zaccharia church, and out onto the Riva degli Schiavoni. This is the "road" that runs along S. Marco Square down to the Giardini. Until we got to the Riva, we did not have a lot of contact with other people but as soon as we reached there, everywhere we looked was jammed with tourists. Later we saw at least seven huge cruise ships at the Tronchetto and I am sure there were many more moored other places. Wow! What a difference a few yards make.

We got on the Number 2 vaporetto which luckily starts at the S. Zaccharia stop, so it was not crowded at all. Looking back, there is a wonderful view of La Pieta which was the church where Vivaldi was priest. The vaporetto goes directly across to San Giorgio Maggiore, so it was very easy to get there. The church was not crowded but as we walked in, there is a huge "Ascension" piece which is part of the Biennale exhibits around Venice. This is a column of moving smoke in front of the apse signifying the Ascension of Christ into Heaven. Pictures were allowed so one is posted. It was actually a pretty impressive display.

Before going around the Church we went to the campanile, which luckily has an elevator. From the top is one of the most impressive views of Venice that is available. Since the church is not in Venice proper, we were looking back over the entire city and the southern islands. As it was a beautiful day, we got some incredible views. The church, by the time we came down from the Campanile was becoming much more crowded with tour groups. We were, however, able to go around and see the Tintorettos that are there. We then left and went to get the vaporetto over to the Giudecca and Il Redentore Church.

The vaporetto going back towards S. Marco was so crowded they had to leave people at the gate, but ours going the other way was fine. The Il Redentore Church is the other church built to commemorate the end of the Plague in Venice. It is across from the Salute church where we visited last week. It is a Palladio church. Since it was part of the agreement with the Capuchin monks when they allowed the church to be built on their property, that the church would remain as it was built, it is one of the purest examples of Palladio's work.

After going through it, we took the vaporetto around to the P. Roma and that was when we went through the Tronchetto and saw the huge cruise ships. We stopped for pizza at Casa Mia and then came home to a quiet afternoon and evening with scrambled eggs for dinner. That certainly is one of the advantages of apartment living.

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