Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Art Adventures and A Little Fear

E and I jetted off this morning determined to see the art in the churches we were denied entry yesterday, my scarf in hand.
At the Madonna dell'Orto, where Tintorello is buried, the chancel is a site to see. Beautiful paintings line all the walls, and in the side Chapel of San Mauro you can write your prayer request in a book for the priests to read at Mass, which I did for my mother. (You're welcome, Mama!) Next we ventured over to the Sant'Alise church to see the Holy Jerusalem fresco on the ceiling. We had to wait outside for a funeral to finish.
This was an interesting bit of local life we didn't plan in seeing. For one, Venetians don't dress up for funerals. They wear jeans or whatever, and we only saw one nonna even wearing black. Many nuns were in attendance from different orders. The priest walked led the family to the canal where the casket was put into a boat, presumably for its last ride to the island of San Erasmo where the cemetery is located.
Back on the vaporetto, we next went to Santa Maria di Miracoli. This barrel vault shaped marble church was built specifically and ONLY for one paiting of Our Lady, which 15th century Venetians thought brought miracles. We wandered through the narrow little alleys, not really knowing where we were going and ending up at the famous Ponte Rialto. Its pretty to look at certainly,  but its filled with shops selling tourist items. To be honest, while I love Murano glass, I'll be glad to get away from the garish displays in the windows and street hawkers.
Off into more alleys, we found the huge Franciscan church of Santa Maria dei Frari. Here one of my favorite painters, Titian, is interred along with the sculptor Cannova. This place is massive. Huge choir section in the middle like Westminster Abbey. There's many chapels here, and a few Venetian Doge's are interred as well. The painting of the Assumption glows from the chancel, lighting up the high alter with Mary's rapturous face and bright robes as she's carried into Heaven on a cloud by angels.
After this we decided to go back to Piazzale Rome to meet with Boy Wonder. Except Boy Wonder didn't appear until five hours later. His American Airlines flight was delayed four hours and he was stuck in Rome with a non-global cell phone. Frantically E and searched, called, texted until we were hungry and exhausted. Worried, we walked back to hotel to find Boy Wonder had somehow slipped by us and was waiting! Heart attack averted, we had a lovely dinner at the same trattoria from last nights and a visit to a pasticceria for sweets.
Tomorrow we say arrivaderci to beautiful Serenissima as we head off to the birthplace of Renaissance art...Florence!