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Report 1968: A Month in Venice

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2011

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Page 21 of 28: October 24, 2011 A "Going to Church" Sort of Day

photo by BJ Firestone

The very top of Basilica San Marco

Today we decided, since we wanted to go to La Fenice to get tickets for tonight's Filarmonica della Fenice concert, we would go to San Marco Basilica and climb to the second floor museum. When we got to P. de San Marco, the wooden walkways were up and there were huge puddles in many places so we guess there had been an acqua alta earlier. Because of the walkways, we had to stand in line to get into the atrium to leave the line and go up the stairs. The stairs are no joke. They are steep and overly large. They reminded us of the steps in the Aya Sofia in Istanbul. We did get up them (so, okay, Alan had no problems, it was me that took so long and had to stop every so often), and paid our fee to get in. We thought we would be there for the lighting of the mosaics but it never happened. Luckily we had lots of good natural light coming in and you are so close to the mosaics that some of them you could actually touch. It is a stunning view of the basilica and not only can you see the mosaics but the inlaid marble floor really comes to life from that high. Seeing the original horses was a thrill, and it is really pretty cool (literally and truly) to stand out on the balcony at the top outside of the Basilica and look across both the piazza and the lagoon.

We came down after about an hour and went across the Piazza to the Correr Museum. We had been there before but decided to go again. The palazzo rooms are worth the price of admission (which was included in our museum pass), and we enjoyed strolling through the exhibits.

We left the San Marco area and, on the way to La Fenice, stopped at the Church of San Moise. San Moise has an over-the-top Baroque facade and the inside is full of sculptures including a wonderful altar. While we were there, they started closing for lunch, so we had to leave sooner than we might have otherwise. The main altarpiece is of San Moise receiving the 10 Commandments. As in the Michaelangelo sculpture, he has horns. Right off-hand, I can't remember what the mistranslation was that led to him being described as having horns, but to my recollection it was nothing derogatory.

We headed over to La Fenice, bought the tickets for tonight, and then went around the corner to Vino Vino for lunch. We started by sharing a plate of bresaola (dried raw beef slices) served with shaved parmesan cheese and arugula. Then Alan had fuselli carbonara and I had fegato (liver) and onion on polenta. We decided to forgo having a dessert at the restaurant and planned to stop for gelato on the way back to the apartment. Leaving the La Fenice area, we walked back toward our home territory, stopping on the way at the Church of San Zulian. This church is not very large but has a wonderful ceiling to see. It was quite dark and the paintings were not well labeled and were difficult to see.

We got to SS. Giovanni e Paolo, stopped at Rosa Salva for pastries for breakfast and gelato. Now we are relaxing at the apartment and are packing for our two day side journey to Ravenna tomorrow. Hopefully no more train troubles on this one! Tonight we will go back to La Fenice for the concert and then up tomorrow early for our journey.

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