Venice – la Serenissima

Grateful thanks to my very dear friend Shelley in Seattle who clearly has a hotline to  the Almighty as the sun has come out at last, and what a difference it makes to the colours.  The sea sparkles, the lovely earthy ochres and bricky reds of the buildings sing out, and of course everybody smiles, because the sun is shining.

A few highlights: top of the list would be a visit to the opera held in a private palazzo.  This was intimate opera with only three characters and a four piece chamber group, and you moved rooms for each act.  It was very special, and I cried… surreptiously obviously because I am British and have a certain reputation to retain.  It was La Traviata and if you are curious look up their website

Another memorable visit would have to be to the island of Torcello which is about an hour from Venice in a series of boats, but worth the effort.  Venice was founded there apparently and then moved to where it is now when it outgrew the tiny island.  There is a large church there which is gently crumbling away but which has two entire walls of the most beautiful mosaics, mostly showing a huge Byzantine influence so with that wonderful stylised flow to the garments.  Wonderful!  And finally, did I mention that I have totally fallen in love with Bellini – beautiful sad madonnas.  I shall have to do some research when I get back.  There is so much fizzing round in my head now that I can’t wait to start work.

On a count down now which is sad, but it will be lovely to get home and see Randal again so not all bad!

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