December 10, 2013 – Venice

We are still trying to get our internal clocks regulated. I am up at 4 AM, Sarah at 2AM. John seems to be doing better. After breakfast Sarah leaves for another look around, I finish up my blog and we all meet at San Stefano at 9:45.

We buy the Chorus Pass which allows access to 16 churches chock full of art. Seeing paintings in a museum is great but seeing them in the spaces where they were intended to be is even better. The sun is shining brightly today which lights up the dim interiors of the churches for better viewing. Each church has an explanation and a schematic of the works. Sarah acts as our tour guide. First church, San Stefano.

Church of San Stefano
Church of San Stefano

Tintoretto's Last Supper in San Stefano
Tintoretto’s Last Supper in San Stefano

One of the odd things that Sarah and I have done is amass a large data base of Saints and their attributes. There are almost always visual clues for who is who in the paintings. St. Lucy has her eyes on a plate, St. Sebastian is shot with arrows, etc. it is fun to go around identifying the various figures. Well, at least it is fun to us.

St. Catherine can be identified by the wheel at her feet. She was martyred on a wheel.
St. Catherine can be identified by the wheel at her feet. She was martyred on a wheel.

In addition to San Stefano, we visit San Maurizio, Santa Maria del Giglio, Santa Maria Formosa, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and also stop in at St. Mark’s Basilica. The Basilica San Marco is decorated in mosaics with a gold background. Everything in this church is beautiful from the marble patterned floor to the mosaic ceilings. There is so much to see! Saints, bible stories, sculptures! It goes on and on. It is very dim, though, and some stuff is hard to see. Our friendly innkeeper tells us later that a private after hours tour can be arranged with the church illuminated. We will look into that.

St. Mark's Square
St. Mark’s Square

Restoration is ongoing at Basilica San Marco
Restoration is ongoing at Basilica San Marco

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Mosaic telling the story of the Garden of Eden
Mosaic telling the story of the Garden of Eden
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Sarah photographing in the floor
Sarah photographing in the floor

By three o’clock I m worn out. My knee is not happy with climbing up and down all the bridges. I need to get it elevated and iced. John and I catch the water bus back to the hotel from the Rialto bridge. Sarah spends the rest of the afternoon wandering around and visiting other churches.

We have drinks at a nearby bar (except for Jonathan, we are a family that enjoys a bar) and take in the local color. Dinner is at a nearby restaurant. Sarah has a plate of trofie with shrimp and John and I have salads and radicchio/pumpkin risotto. Tonight we have managed to stay awake until 10pm! (I am writing this at 6:30 AM so we are doing better with jet lag!)

Sarah has a plate of trofie and shrimp
Sarah has a plate of trofie and shrimp

John and I have risotto. We are still a happy family.
John and I have risotto. We are still a happy family.

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