There are nice touches of colour in the first two photos. (These houses are from the 17th century.)



These window shutters were a departure from the usual dark green paint.


Who lives on the other side of this window, to enjoy those toys hanging there?


What little child lost his/her car in this park in Castello?



Filed under Venice

Private beauty in a private corte

The surroundings, stairway and arch were eye-catching in their own right.


But, there was something quite special at the top of the stairs.





Filed under Venice

How wrong could I be?

“Hah”, I said to myself. “Florence has got this graffiti business sorted!”

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On the Ponte Vecchio

But, what is that just below the sign written in Italian?

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Yup. They’ve got graffiti, and it’s right here on the historical Ponte Vecchio.

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Well, they seem to be really strict about the  love locks.

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Watch out,  “trasgressors”.

Yes, that was highly effective.

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We really don’t forgive you, “trasgressors”!



Filed under Florence

Corte San Marco, Dorsoduro

Yet another of the little jewels from Venetian domestic architecture (Trincanato and Salvadori) are these dwellings to be found in this corte.


 Trincanato says “24 small houses, built in 1529 with a bequest of Pietro Olivieri made to the members of the Scuola di San Marco.”

As I recall the well was hexagonal in shape. Those masegni (paving stones) look to have been around for a few centuries.


This inscribed marble will give some of you an hour or so of deciphering fun!


The dwellings were originally built as working-class housing, and they still retain a humble appearance.



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Florence: Torre dei Marsili

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Florence was getting richer and richer. Many families were fighting against one another, so they started to build house towers which could be easily defended, and could provide a means of escape, via passages that lead from one (friendly) tower to another.

There are still a number of these towers to be found in Florence. This is just one of them, easily found and admired. It features a knock-out ceramic Annunciation above one door.

The apartment where I’ll be staying is also in one of the remaining towers, but it’s not quite as posh as this one.  (I’ve put a photo of that tower at the end of the post.)
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This is where I’ll be staying: Torre Ramaglianti



Filed under Florence, Uncategorized

Who was Francesco Hayez?

 It’s funny how one observation leads to another.

I was  in Santa Croce, when I noticed a few scraps of fresco on a building.

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Then my eyes were drawn to this plaque. I had never heard of Francesco Hayez, but now that I’ve done a bit of research, I’m so glad I came across this piece of information.

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Here is just one of his works (image from Wikipedia). If you are interested, do read the description and interpretation of this painting. The Kiss  No wonder art historians love their chosen field of study!

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The Kiss, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Francesco Hayez was born in Venice (1791), and during his long life his prolific output included portraits, historical paintings, and political allegories.

In Venice, you can find some of his works in the  Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Correr Museum.



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Calle Sarasin 1164-69, Castello

Another example of 15th century dwellings, but so frustratingly difficult to photograph in that narrow calle!

Signora Trincanato (Venetian domestic architecture), notes that these humble flats provided independent stairways for each flat, a nice concession for respect and privacy.


I liked the fact that the window surrounds are graceful and beautiful.


Six centuries later, the building has stood the test of time.


And, spotted in downtown Dismal Swamp. I don’t think I’d be so proudly proclaiming my status to the world! :-)



Filed under Atherton, Venice