vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Something for the weekend

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Mornings in Venice are truly something special. It's one of the few occasions when you see real Italians and hear their language spoken everywhere; descending at Fondamente Nove, they greet each other passing by or stop to exchange a few words. They stand drinking espresso at the bars of small cafés and make their way to work through the tourist free streets. There is the smell of freshly brewed coffee and washing being hung out to dry for the day while the sun is still a pale, pink disc hanging low on the horizon.

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A rare quiet moment on the Rialto

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At the sun began to warm the tops of the buildings, I took the boat out to other parts of the city to escape the hoards of San Marco. La Giudecca charmed me with its metal bridges and leafy parks. I sat alone by the edge of the water reading my book and lifting my eyes from time to time to watch the gilttering sunlight on its surface. At midday, I entered into a restaurant where a man was sitting alone at the bar. Inside, the was the rush of conversation of a group of men drinking espresso and some students in animated discussion over their pizzas. I took a seat at the last free table and ordered spaghetti alle vongole (with clams). From the kitchen, I could see a large saucepan bubbling on the stove and the grey haired waiter explained apologetically that it would take a few more minutes. Then all of a sudden, silence descended leaving alone me to savour every mouthful.

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View from the tower of San Giorgio Maggiore

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The charming restaurant where I had a wonderful lunch on La Giudecca

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On La Giudecca

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On the Lido, I saw the Adriatic sea for the first time and felt the sadness of seeing Hotel des Bains boarded up, the legendary place where Diaghelev died and the setting for Visconti's Death in Venice. I walked over masses of white shells, passing by deserted bathing huts of grand hotels. On the main street, a woman stood talking on her mobile phone, repeating "Faccio la signora!" while others in jackets with fur lined collars sat outisde at cafés, smoking, chatting and drinking large glasses of white wine, happy that the weekend had finally arrived.

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At the Lido

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Trees in the old Jewish cemetary on the Lido

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On the shores of the Adriatic

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Interesting underwear near the Academia

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In the garden of the Peggy Guggenheim foundation. The writing behind reads, "If the form disappears, its root still remains."

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In my opinion, the loveliest view of Venice is from the Academia bridge

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A young Bardot

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I took a final trip to Isola San Michele in the final afternoon before the clocks went back and sat reading by the statues I have come to love and recognise. Around me was the sound of sweeping brushes against the stone as people cleaned the graves.

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That was to be the last fine evening before heavy raindrops began to fall from a sky soon covered with dark grey clouds. In the vaporetto to the centre the next morning, a woman got on board carrying a little dog in her arms who whimpered the whole journey, as if in protest against the disappearence of the sun and seagulls perched on wooden posts in the middle of the canal. I discovered the melancholy of Sundays and the buildings with their faded or peeling exteriors closed for the long holiday weekend. At the Bacini stop, a neon sign declared that "something strange happened here" and I wondered what. I spent the morning at the Academia and then looking at some remarkable photos by a young Stanley Kubrick before moving on to the Fortuny museum filled with the kind remarkable dresses Proust's narrator would have bought for Albertine. I experienced the smell of lunchtime behind closed shutters with the sound of cutlery scraping against plates filled with a desire to be a part of that.

As my boat taking me back to the airport was pulling out of Murano, I caught sight of a black and white cat perched upon the edge of a balcony high up. Through the open window, I felt the breeze and a few raindrops brushed against my cheek. It was the end of a wonderful trip.

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26 commentaires:

  1. The morning light in Venice during fall is incredible and so atmospheric! A peaceful place before the tourists come out. You captured the spirit of this town perfectly. Love those shots.

    Cheers and have eine wunderschöne Wochenende,


  2. That sounds like the perfect trip... I so wanna travel again, I miss it, I miss it, I miss it! (and I miss blogging, too...)
    Anyways, your photos are wonderful... I need to go back to Italy, and Venice is now calling!

  3. You captured the morning so beautifully. I cannot stop thinking of the male mannequin in those odd underwear, and holding a baby! So crazy. I'd rather think of you traversing Venice with your books and your camera. It looks as if you had a wonderful time.

  4. @Rosa - Yes, I think fall must be one of the best times to visit for the light and am glad you like the photos. Danke liebe Rose!
    @Pia - Oh, I can totally understand your need, especially when you've been working so hard. We miss you too and hope you have more time soon. I'm still dreaming of Italy and my next trip there.
    @Denise - Yes, I found that shop so totally crazy too but very photogenic. That's my way of travelling, walking round, taking pictures and reading in parks.

  5. I'm in heaven. Venice is one of my favorite places! Your photos are a delight, Vanessa!
    (The underwear grosses me out. Totally. What CAN they have been thinking?)

  6. Evidemment ça donne envie de passer l'automne en Italie, d'autant que le temps semble presque arrêté dans tes photos, une Italie éternelle (même la lingerie masculine tape-à-l'oeil a un petit air anachronique).

  7. Vanessa - thank you so much for these photographs. My first trip there (1974!) in a November was so wonderful. It was love at first sight, of course...but for the reasons you mention. I'm trying to get permission from friend to put some of his b&w photos from the Venice trip on bricolage. I wanted to reference you & also another blogger who have reverence for Venice without the over-the-top squealing that so offends (well, it offends me anyway). Like Venice would ever need such treatment...


    Have you read Jan Morris' Venice? Anyway, I'll "talk" to you soon.


  8. J'aime beaucoup la photo de la tombe de Diaghelev, elle est émouvante avec en plus les chaussons danses. Si non bien évidement tes photos donnent terriblement envie d'aller à Venise !

  9. @Barbara - I know it's a special place for you too so am pleased you like the photos. The underwear is awful but fun for pictures!
    @Rose - Cette boutique est vraiment bizarre et je me demande qui veut acheter de telles choses. C'est vrai que c'est ma vision d'Italie qui s'impose, je préfère les moments tranquils.
    @Susan - Yes, Jan Morris' book is one of my favourites and like you, I can't stand all thse gushing, totally romanticised visions of the city. Although I did do some touristy things, I'm much more interested in observing the everyday people, of being open to the atmosphere of different areas. Jan Morris said that she picked up a recent tourist guide which labelled her book as dated and pretentious. I'm keen to read Brodsky's Watermark soon as well. Feel free to use any of my shots from Flickr for your post if you like. I feel very honoured to be mentioned:
    @Alice - C'était seulement lors de ma troisième visite à l'île des morts que j'ai pu trouver cette tombe et comme toi, je la trouve très émouvante. Apparemment, il avait très peur de mourir et n'allait jamais dans des endroits avec beaucoup d'eau, sauf à Venise. Coco Chanel a payé des obsèques et la tombe et je trouve ça merveilleux qu'on y trouve toujours des chaussures.

  10. Your photos are amazing! What kind of camera and lens do you use?
    I love the cemetery shots! Stravinsky and Diaghilev! have you read or seem "Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky"? both the book and the film are great. I have a post about both on my blog.
    Are you in Venice on vacation? What do you do in Berlin? I will be there in the spring. We should go for Kaffee und Kuchen!

  11. Oh, I so love Venice! I just did a post on the Venetian doorbells:-)

  12. @Kat - Oh thanks! I use a Canon 1000d with a 50mm lens. No, I haven't seen or read this but you've made me keen to do so. I'll check out your posts later. The cemetary is a really special place and perhaps my favourite in Venice. I was there for 5 days but came back to Berlin a week ago. I work as an English teacher in a company. Great that you're coming to Berlin in the spring! We'll definitely have to meet.
    @Carina - Thanks for stopping by. I'll have to have a look at your post then.

  13. It was a wonderful trip, your writing and photos transported me to that enchanting city.

  14. This made me think of the photo by Ruth Orkin, American Girl in Italy. I hope you ate lots and enjoyed every single moment.

  15. have I told you how jealous I am of you at the moment? Well, I probably should. What stunning, evocative photos, they really capture the place.

  16. @P.K - It makes me really happy to hear that and thanks for taking the time to follow my posts!
    @Tracy - I absolutely adore that photo so it's great you mentioned it. There was plenty of food, although the ice cream was the best and even on rainy days, it was special being there.
    @Hila - Well, you may have mentioned that last time and I can understand! Thanks so much for the nice comments though. I hope my pictures do Venice justice.

  17. Thank you for bringing me along with your photos! It looks like you had an amazing trip.

  18. Such beauty. Sigh.
    When my parents went to Venice some years ago I asked them to go to the tombs of Diaghilev and Stravinsky for me and leave a flower there...

  19. Cette serie est magnifique Vanessa, je dirais que tu as su capturer l'ame du lieu, incroyablement romantique et en meme temps terre a terre et sensuelle - l'Italie.

  20. Hi Vanessa great blog !Thanks for sharing with me, glad to be here.
    Diaghilev and Stravinsky are always in my hart.
    Lovely photos and a lovely story to go with it.

  21. @Lecia - Thanks so much! I always feel flattered that a true artist like you admires my photos.
    @Mary-Laure - Actually, I thought of you there, your love of dance and find it a lovely idea that your parents took flowers for you.
    @Gracienne - Oh merci, je suis vraiment touchée par ces mots, amoureuse que je suis de cette ville magnifique. Après ton billet là-dessus, j'a hâte de découvrir Rome aussi.
    @Olga - Welcome and thanks for the comment. I'm so pleased you enjoyed my post and will pay you a visit soon.

  22. ah! l'amore!!! venice is always worth a visit, lovely photos, now I want to go back! cheers!

  23. Venice! It looks like you had a lovely trip. Where will your next adventure be? It's like following Carmen San Diego :)

  24. Un oscar pour ce post! WONDERFUL, tu me donnes tellement envie d'y retourner - il semblerait vraiment que Venise soit plus qu'un musée flottant à l'automne, une vraie ville fidèle à sa légende...

  25. Merci ma chère amie! Contente que ce poste te plaise et que tu aies envie de voyager encore une fois. C'est vrai que Venise est magnifique.

  26. I have been in VEnice during january and it was \scold and hekp,