04 November 2018

Ragazzi, sempre avanti

It’s an interlude, of course, but Venice can be no other. We’re here following some of the highest tides that Venice has seen over the centuries, after travelling through some of the roughest weather that Italy has reported for yonks and after a European summer that had everyone out for a tan. That’s climate change but Venice was threatened even before our awareness of climate change. It’s gloriously beautiful in its decay, ridiculously teaming with tourists, stunningly rich with art and vistas. We, too, are just tourists. Even my cousins from the Veneto from perhaps 40 kms distance, would not call themselves Veneziani. In fact, most services are now provided by people living off the islands, in Mestre and thereabouts. It’s happening with other cities, too. The rich and the tourist industry are displacing the very thing that draws them. Thus London is complaining of empty housing owned by foreigners and Manhattan is increasingly a plaything for the wealthy. As tourists, we are part of it. But how can you not drool. I’m missing my piece of Leonardo here (Vitruvian man at L’Accademia) because there’s just not time and maybe it’s not even on display. You should always save something for next time. But I’ve ogled at the gloriously decaying buildings and the mid-Eastern influences and seen my share of Tintoretto and Titian and done my best to avoid tourist routes (virtually impossible). And met up with the rellies. God, how this place is beautiful. But I say nothing new there. As for the “Ragazzi, sempre avanti”, that was just the theme for a mad dash through the hoards to see yet another ridiculously opulent site, the Scuola di San Rocca, replete with immense Tintoretto bible scenes and baroque wood carvings and gilt features and the rest. Some pics.

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