Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Venice (Italy) - Dorsoduro - Wide walkways and Zippy Boats

The wide walkways make this section of Dorsoduro a great strolling area. We are now looking at Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo.  "The Zattere", with all of its different street names, is a recognized pedestrian section of Venice with its wide walkways.

And, to help you to get your bearings, here is the map of Venice with the sections (sestiere) names.

 And a Google Map view of the area that we are about to explore.

Actually, this little section to the right of the canal bridge is on Fondamenta Zattere Al Gesuati.  Two nice outdoor restaurants are here and it looks like some of the seating on the outdoor patio is covered.
 We cross over a canal bridge, and of course the street name changes.  It looks like there are some issues with the bridge as a ramp has been installed over the stairs.  This is the second time that I noticed these ramps.  Of course, I had to do a little digging about this topic and found that these ramps are not working around structural failures, but are installed to provide wheelchair access.  The 3D Google Map aerial shot (above) does not show the wheel chair ramps.  I found out that "The Zattere" is one of the most wheelchair friendly places in the city.  More information about access in Venice can be found on this blog post:
The orange building (above and on the right side below) is the Coast Guard. I also noticed in this photo that there are trees planted in the middle of the walkways. This will be a nice shady area when the trees mature.
 I like the look of the different colors on the building, and the flower boxes.  (The Google Maps view shows the buildings a plain white, so these buildings have a fresh coat of paint.) And, as always, I appreciate the street lamps.  Click here to see a close-up view of the street lamps taken by another photographer.

Here is a good look of the area.  The church towers are Ognissanti, a small church which has gone through many lives. More info here.
 The brown building in the middle of the photo below is part of Universita Ca Foscari (Ca' Foscari University). It was founded in 1868, as the first Italian business college. The main building of the University, Ca’ Foscari Palace, is placed in a strategic position on the bend of the Grand Canal, in the heart of the city. Nowadays, Ca' Foscari University offers four main subject areas of teaching and research activities: economics, languages, sciences and humanities.
 I like the kiosks. This one is a little larger than most.  Looks like the seating area is starting to unfold. Also, notice the windows and doors in the buildings  A little example of Venetian architecture!
Let's take a closer look to see what is going on here.  Hmm. Looks like food and drink.

This area looks like apartments or small businesses, with restaurants and cafes on the ground floor. Nice area.

The map says that this is "Gruppo Ormeggiatori del Porto di Venezia".  They provide the service that is the unmooring and handling of ships, and public and emergency services to ships in dangerous situations.  They also take floating dangers out of the water. They have quite a line up of boats parked in the front.
 I zoomed the lens back a little to get a broad view of this area, and the white waves in the lower corner caught my eye.

There was a boat speeding along, and it rounded the corner to turn in to the smaller canal at what looked like full speed!!  Look at the little tug boat bouncing in the water.
 The little tug boat is getting out of there fast!

This was a fun section. Just when I thought that it was a calm and sleepy area, along comes the action packed boating incident!

and one more thing. Notice in the background, in the middle of the photo, there are steeples. It looks like there are two churches.  The two identical towers are 1) Angelo Raffaele and 2) the single square tower on the right is San Sebastiano.
1) Angelo Raffaele has recently been renovated in 2004.  This "Churches of Venice" page has a lot of good information. People complained that the renovation took away its rustic feel...that's funny. Venice weather is returning it to the rustic looking state.  It is one of the few free standing churches, meaning that you can walk all the way around it.  The ceiling frescoes have been cleaned and are quite vivid.

2) San Sebastiano
Research says that it is, in a word, Veronese (now I have to research to figure out who HE was!).  The Churches of Venice website comments that "You get the impression that the church was built specifically to house the trompe l'oeil vistas and the combination of art, sculpture and architecture is seamless."  Yes, I had to look up that word: trompe l'oeil is an art technique involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions. Forced perspective is a comparable illusion in architecture."

The website also says that "the interior is a monumental classical space, aisleless and simple, with a barco at the back which continues down the sides. But it's overwhelming due to THE ART."  The campanile,  which appears to be under repair here, was built by Scarpagnino, as was the rework of the church. It originally faced one way and was redesigned to face another way.

A little research done on Paolo Veronese.  A hot artist in the mid 1550s.   As I was reading the Wikipedia piece, and looking at his story. I am proud to say that I recognized his work and have seen one of his famous pieces now at the Louvre.  I know that this is a little off topic, but seeing this will give you an idea of what is inside this plain looking church.  This is a photo of "The Wedding at Cana" in the Louvre.  Shout out to those who fostered my increased awareness of art: Ginan, Kalen, Karl and Sara!!

Yet again, it is brought to my attention that wandering around the Roman cities, and entering the buildings, brings surprising views of art.

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