Here it is our last day in Venice. We need to finish up the churches on our Chorus Pass. I am planning on being with the team until after lunch and then I’ll stay in the apartment for the afternoon and finish up my posts.
A word first about Venice. It is beautiful and quaint but I cannot imagine living here and having to put up with the inefficiency of having to get everywhere by water or on foot. Even the garbage collectors have to come by boat. There is a main garbage boat and then some collectors get off and have hand carts. Then they go door to door ringing doorbells and collecting the garbage and the recycle. They do this six days a week.
There is a water garage for the fire department and the police where if you call for them I guess they get there eventually. All the traffic moves really slowly because of not being able to make wakes.
Our first stop today is at San Pantalon where we have been looking forward to going the whole time we have been here to see the Vivarini “Coronation with Saints”. And when I say with Saints I mean every saint in existence at the time standing around with their attribute. Sarah and I are going to spend some quality time identifying everyone. We rush into the little chapel and uh oh no painting. We ask the docent where is the picture and find out it is in a special exhibition at the Accademia. We skipped the special exhibition when we were there last week. We cannot go today because it is Monday and museums are closed on Mondays. Sigh.
There’s a nice crucifix though. The docent does not know when it is from or who painted it. He shrugs and says maybe 14th century?
Next church on our list San Giacomo dell’Orio. We have visions of Saint James surrounded by cookies but John tells us that orio means marsh. Right off the bat Sarah is naughty and touches a baptismal font from the early thirteenth century. I think this is because on our last trip I touched a carved stone from the 9th century. Roman ruins do not count in this competition.
Other works we enjoy in San Giacomo dell Orio –
Our next stop is at St. Stae. I guess I didn’t take any pictures here. But John likes one that is a martyrdom of St. Bartholomew by Tiepolo, 1722.
We also stop at San Giovanni Elemosinario before lunch but I am dragging and losing interest.
Lunch time! We have pizza at Pizzeria San Aponal. It’s pizza. It’s good but not great.
It is mid-afternoon by the time we are done and we are eight bridges away from the apartment. I decide to tackle the eight bridges and then collapse for the rest of the afternoon (except for writing blogs) while John and Sarah continue on to see three more churches. I have asked John to write about them next.
John writes –
Later in the afternoon Sarah and I visit three more churches across the Accademia Bridge in San Marco. First we visit San Vidal, mostly used as a concert venue. There are displays of old string instruments and a 1514 altarpiece by Carpaccio showing San Vitale and 8 other saints.
In San Stefano we see several works by Tintoretto including another action-packed Last Supper, and a St. Lawrence and a St. Nicholas of Bari by Bartolemeo Vivarini. There are also very interesting bronze side doors that turn out to be from 1991.
Finally we visit Santo Maria del Giglio. In addition to the only Rubens work still in Venice, the Madonna, Child and Young St. John the Baptist (looking every bit like a 17th century Dutch mom and two kids), we also see a 1470 relief by Nicolo di Giovanni of St. Jerome in the Cave, complete with lion. By chance Sarah notices that behind the altar are works by Tintoretto: 2 paintings each with two evangelists.
We head back over the bridge to rest up for dinner at Ai Artisti.
Since today is Monday, the fish market is closed. Ai Artisti serves a meat menu instead. If they cannot get absolutely fresh fish, they do not serve fish. We respect their commitment and integrity.
Our wine is a 2013 Valent Hombra Sporca Rossi made from Carmenere grapes from Pramaggiore in the Veneto.
Mary and Sarah start with beef tartare with tempura asparagus, fricco and mustard mayonnaise foam. Then they have bigoli pasta with a sausage ragu. I start with a pea soup with a whole coddled breaded egg, fresh peas and anchovies. Then I try the fried sweetbreads (“animelle”) on a bed of interesting lettuces, some passion fruit, and green sauce.
Every dish is a hit. Mary and I finish the wonderful meal with glasses of golden grappa. Maybe since we have been recognized as repeat customers, the grappa is comp’ed! Everyone says grazie and arrividerci and then we head back. Bonus: NO BRIDGES!