Casa della Marinarezza, Castello 1411-68

Here’s another in the scintillating series based on Venice Domestic Architecture (Trincanato and Salvadori).

Anyone who has taken a vaporetto toward the Giardini vaporetto stop has seen this, if they were being alert and didn’t have their noses buried in some electronic gizmo.

Did you know you were gazing at something built in the 15th century? Typical, you guys just never pay attention in class, nor do you do your homework. It’s the naughty corner for each and every one of you.

So, what we have here is a group of residences granted free (not today, I hasten to add), to sailors who had “distinguished themselves” for services to the Republic. There are 3 parallel blocks of 3 stories. The front bit, with the 2 distinctive arches, was added in the mid 1600s.


Here is the view enjoyed by the residents when they leave their (now expensive, no doubt) apartments, to walk onto the Riva dei Sette Martiri. Not bad, eh?


If they look up as they walk toward the Riva, they’ll see some evidence of the structural elements of this building. (Always look up – repeat that mantra, class.)


If they look back, they can check to see that their laundry is still secure on the line, and say good-bye to the neighbourhood cat.



To quote Signora Trincanato, “The jambs of the mullioned windows are in carved stone“, and darned beautiful, as opined by me.


I’m not sure when the shrine was added.


Right next to it is a memorial to men lost forever to families and the city. I like the little perpetually glowing lamp.


This door lintel displays the old method of house numbering. It’s so satisfying to find these, in many areas of Venice. It also shows the date (1645) in Roman numerals.



And, for those members of the class who get all soppy over chimneys, here are two, just for you!



Well class, do yourself a favour, next time you’re in Venice. Walk through the arches, look around. Soak up the atmosphere of long ago Venice. And, say hello to that cat.


Filed under Venice

Let’s clear out some of the odds and ends today

Yes, it’s time for some spring cleaning, even though it’s the middle of winter here in Dismal Swamp.

These were just too good to throw in the trash, so I’ll chuck them your way instead. Then, it’s your responsibility to get rid of the darn things.

This poerson must have been sick and tired of housework, and just threw it all in

This person must have been sick and tired of housework, and just threw it all in


Don’t ask me, I’m no good at interpreting modern art

Doing a good job keeping the sparrows and seagulls away

Doing a good job keeping the sparrows and seagulls away

This one gives me nightmares, and I'm glad to pass it on. It was part of a huge carved wooden mask

This one gives me nightmares, and I’m glad to pass it on. It was part of a huge carved wooden mask

Home, James

Home, James

Maybe I'll keep this one

Maybe I’ll keep this one


Filed under Venice

A well deserved TripAdvisor award

I read about this in the Dismal Swamp weekly newspaper, and am so pleased for them.


One of the many displays that made an impression on me, during a recent visit to this outdoor museum, was the school. The buildings were previously used for exactly that purpose, and had been moved to the museum site, where they were restored and furnished.

We didn’t use slates when I went to school, but these desks had specifically sized slots to hold these articles of long-ago technology. A woman I spoke to was a retired teacher. She said the slates were used into the 1970s. That’s not her in the second photo!

Herberton May 2014 205

Herberton May 2014 198

These photos brought back fond memories of the manner in which our little school on the Saskatchewan prairies was furnished. How many of you remember ink wells, and those pens with nibs that splattered all over the place, and ink stains on your fingers (and clothes)? And the Fun with Dick and Jane primers?

You can stop the slide show by hovering with the cursor over a photo, and clicking on the stop icon.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How many of you could pass the tests that had been set for Grade 5 and 6 students? They made me just a wee bit nostalgic for the good old days, when the 3 Rs were deemed to be important.

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Ah, dear old school days.


Filed under Australia

L’uomo commune, Florence

Vandals have attacked the sculpture L’uomo commune, on the Ponte alle Grazie,  causing significant damage and resulting in its being removed to police headquarters. See my previous post on this subject:

I’m normally a polite person, but I hope the Richard Craniums who did this are found and fined. What, if anything, went through their tiny minds, to do such a stupid thing?

Artist Clet has maintained his sense of humour. He said ” The police headquarters seems set to become the first contemporary art museum in Florence.” Two of his sculptures are already in police possession.




Filed under Florence

What is an “ottagono” ?

While travelling on the ferry that is one portion of the trip from the Lido to Chioggia, I noticed this structure in the waters of the lagoon. What in the world could it be?

It took a bit of research, but I did find out that it is the remains of an “ottagono“, literally octagon, one of several that were used for the defence of Venice. As far as I can determine, it would have been built in the late 14th century.


 I also found a real estate advertisement, offering one of the ottagono for sale, with price on application. 

(Another advertisement for this island, dated May this year, quoted an asking price of 8 million euro. Gulp) 

If you’re in the market for this piece of history, here is a short video featuring the property. Before you sign the contract, will you please ask the real estate agent how they ever managed to acquire the rights to this ottagono.





Filed under Venice

Espresso, anyone?

In the Atherton Tablelands, we are fortunate to have a number of coffee plantations. Several of the growers also roast their own coffee, so we can always get fresh coffee, either as beans or ground the way we want it. Recently, a friend and I went exploring some of these plantations, and ended up at the Coffee Works in Mareeba. Here, our palates and noses were well catered for, and we went home clutching our own little bags of future caffeine delight.


The Coffee Works has a few relics of the history of the coffee industry, including this magnificent espresso machine. I’m happy not to be the one who has to polish it every day. And, it looks like you’d have to be a darn good barista to operate this baby.





Filed under Atherton, Australia

Elegance with bonus junk mail


Filed under Uncategorized