It’s beginning to …

Like many streets in Venice, Calle Larga XXII Marzo shows signs of the Christmas season, with festive lights brightening the atmosphere.

Calle Larga XXII Marzo is a lovely broad thoroughfare in the sestiere of San Marco. It is home to many top end boutiques, hotels and restaurants.

It was renamed in 1881 (from Calle San Moise, for the church which is at one end of the calle) after the expulsion of the Austrians on 22 March 1848. At that time, it was also widened by smashing down a few buildings that stood in the way.

I don’t know when Prada, Versace, Bulgari and their ilk arrived in this neighbourhood.

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Hotel al Codega, San Marco

This hotel is set in the Corte del Forno Vecchio, San Marco. It is an inviting looking hotel, with what might be a tiny oratory set to one side of the entrance. 3rd card 2014 180-001 3rd card 2014 178-001 3rd card 2014 179-001

Thank you to Annie, of the Churches in Venice blog, for this information:

http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/annienc/2009/03/corte_del_forno_vechio_1.html#more

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A little devil in Florence

Yvonne:

Thank you to Debra Kolka who writes this excellent blog. She gives us a little history of a little devil you’ll see if you keep your eyes open in Florence.

I had written about similar objects that are to be found in Venice, and I wonder if there is some connection between the little critters?

http://ytaba36.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/favourite-topics-revisited/

Originally posted on Bagni di Lucca and Beyond:

I have passed the little devil in Via degli Strozzi many times without really taking much notice.

Little devil in Florence

Once I discovered more after reading about it in Secret Florence, I became much more interested.

The insolent little devil keeping watch over the corner is a bronze by Giambologna (1529 – 1608 ). It was commissioned by Bernado Vecchetti to commemorate a mysterious incident in Florence.

In 1425 a Dominican friar was preaching against heresy in Piazza del Mercato ( now Piazza della Repubblica ) when a startled black horse ran into the square.

The friar realised it was a ruse by the Devil to distract his listeners and raised his hand to make a sign of the cross over the satanic beast. The beast withdrew and disappeared around the corner of Palazzo Vecchietti, leaving nothing but a plume of smoke and a smell of sulphur.

Look up next time you pass…

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Living on the water

This dwelling in Venice has not only a private bridge but also its own steps down to the water of the canal.

I wonder if that is their boat to the rear of the bridge, or if they have one they moor at the foot of the water stairs?

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Villa Hériot, Giudecca

And so, the City Council of Venice has put up another property  for sale to the highest bidder. Will it become yet another 7 star hotel? (Thank you, Winckelmann, for your article on this.)

This time, it’s not a centuries old palazzo, or an island in one of the lagoons, but rather the Villa Hériot on the southern side of the Giudecca.  Even the most devoted Venetophile may not have heard of this  villa.

It was built in the 1920s, for rich Frenchmen Zacharie Olympe Hériot and Cyprienne Dubernet. When these two gentlemen had died, the heirs sold the villa to the city of Venice, with the proviso that the building would be used as a school. Currently, you will find here the headquarters of the International University of Art, an institution of the highest level for the restoration of works of art, and also a kindergarten within an annex on the grounds.

It’s a lovely building, you can get to it by following Calle Michelangelo from near the Zitelle vaporetto stop. I went a couple of times, to see photographic exhibitions that had been advertised, and I’m glad I did.

Well, let’s see how this latest plan to get some money into the Commune budget will play out.

Here are a few photos to show you what a little gem this villa is.

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‘Twas the month before Christmas

Yvonne:

I get a kick out of the offerings of this blogger …

Originally posted on yadadarcyyada:

‘Twas the month before Christmas

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the city,
Not a creature was stirring, er, you find a rhyme…
I’m just not that witty.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Oops, don’t have a chimney, hmmm…
Oh well, Santa’s magic, who cares?

The people were nestled all snug in their beds,
(your business what you’re doing there)
While visions of shopping malls danced
in their wallets and heads.

I in my Soft Kitty PJs and the cat in the hat
Had just settled down to read,
maybe eat some cookies…
How about that?

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed (ok, sprang is an exaggeration),
To see what was the matter.

It was only a drunk guy,
With his nose all aglow,
Shouting and singing,
Let it go, let it snow, let it…

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Chiesa Sant’ Agnese, Dorsoduro

Anyone who has trotted down the Rio Terà A. Foscarini, going from the Accademia Bridge towards the Zattere, or vice versa, has passed this church which dates back to the 12th century.

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Photo sourced online

It is difficult to find this church open, but one evening there was a service for her feast day.  I attended, along with a tiny congregation, and was given permission to take “Solo una foto” (Only one photo). And now, I’ll share it with you, because you deserve it!

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If you want to read more about the history of this church, please follow this link to Jeff Cotton’s excellent blog, and scroll down to Sant’Agnese:

http://www.churchesofvenice.co.uk/dorsoduro.htm

Oh, I almost forgot, there’s a mighty fine pissotta at one side of this church. See if you can find it.

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