and now back to our irregularly scheduled programming

We have been back home now long enough that I should be over my jet-lag. But the problem with that is that assumes I wasn’t overdoing it while I was travelling. I wouldn’t say overdoing as much as not sleeping as much as I would want.

But back in my own bed, with quiet. And dark. Good. Peace.

But…how I miss the colors of Venice! I have spent the last two days editing my photos. Colors that put to shame all this green around me. I do not miss the overwhelming humidity and heat, though, but…

I should give you an example, shouldn’t I?

But first, I thought I should figure out how to present the photos. You don’t want to go through all of my 1000+, so let’s categorize, shall we?

  1. Famous places. No, that isn’t necessary. It’s more important to point out the things that were surprising to me, I think. So
  2. Surprising places. Including the waterways and the alleyways. And maybe unexpected lessons in historical connections.
  3. Fascinating people. I think I can subset this into
    1. Interaction of different groups (age, religion, ethnicity)
    2. Fashion. But fashion how people take it for themselves, not always sooo successful.
    3. And how people tend to be attracted to the art according to how they are dressed. Or dress to be attracted to art?
  4. Colors. In search of Tzfat blue in Venice. Which brings me to the next one:
  5. The surprise and delight of Art.

That’s a start.

But of course, I will start with something completely different and unexpected, so I guess it fits under #2.

Our first day in Venice, we proceeded to take in as much of the city by foot as possible, and probably by the extreme exhaustion that I felt, more than possible. In the morning, we went to the Jewish ghetto, which was in and of itself more than fascinating than expected. In the afternoon, we proceeded to explore all the waterways and alleyways (and some shops, I admit!) over to San Marco, the destination that our concierge suggested. By that time, I was extraordinarily ready to sit down. Hearing some lovely music, we wandered over to a big surprise destination.

where the chairs are is our destination
The Piazza San Marco, Venice

Do you see how empty the plaza is, comparatively? That’s because people were escaping from the heat of the day, searching for shade.

Caffe Florian and its orchestra
Caffe Florian and its orchestra


Caffe Florian under the shade
Caffe Florian under the shade

We found a table somewhat close to the arches. A waiter approached us rapidly pointing to a line on a card stating “additional fee for listening to music.” Nessun problema. We figured it was a concert, so that would be appropriate.

Notice the accordion player. He was the draw for ISHI.

So we ordered two beers and enjoyed the experience. At some point, I paid attention to the table itself.


I assumed this was something, so I took this photo in order to check it out later. Yesterday, I found it truly is something. It’s from Lord Byron, written in Venice.

 Canto the Fourth from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage 


Such is the refuge of our youth and age,
The first from Hope, the last from Vacancy;
And this worn feeling peoples many a page,
And, may be, that which grows beneath mine eye:
Yet there are things whose strong reality
Outshines our fairy-land; in shape and hues
More beautiful than our fantastic sky,
And the strange constellations which the Muse
O’er her wild universe is skilful to diffuse:

Here’s the opening verse that places it in its more exact context–

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying glory smiles
O’er the far times when many a subject land
Looked to the winged Lion’s marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles!

Now I am truly impressed. But wait–there’s much more!

We walked into the cafe itself.  So fascinating!

Caffe Florian
Caffe Florian
Inside Caffe Florian
Inside Caffe Florian

But truly, we were amazed at the mirrors and the quotes in a few of the rooms.

"So we’ll go no more a roving” by the international renowned Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie.
“So we’ll go no more a roving” by the international renowned Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie.

Until today, I did not realize that this was, in fact, a temporary art exhibit, part of the Biennale itself!

And the title of this Temporanea itself?

I, perhaps for now, agree.

Until I set out roaming once again.


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