Category Archives: Artisans

Pizza night

I have friends who live out in the country, about 15 to 20 minutes drive from my place. (It depends on how fast Cedric, the Sissy Car is on the day.)

A few years back, they built an outdoor bake oven.  They use it mainly for baking bread, some of which is gluten free for those who have gluten intolerance. They’ve got a sour dough starter going, and I particularly like this type of their bread .

However, for me, the biggest treat of all is when they stoke up that oven and have one of their famous pizza nights. When I’m invited, I definitely try not to miss out on this.

They spend the day getting the pizza dough ready, and the many ingredients for the toppings of the pizza. The combinations seem endless, from those that will suit the people who prefer vegetarian toppings, to those that will please us carnivores and omnivores!

A pizza ready to be devoured

Here's another pizza being prepared for the oven

That fire looks hot

I might have some of that, please

Around the camp fire

On a cool evening, we appreciated the warmth of the fire


Filed under Artisans, Atherton

If you wanted to buy a gondola

If you decided you just had to add a gondola to your collection of vintage Rolls Royce automobiles, antique beanbags, etc., then you would probably head to the squero (boatyard) near the Chiesa San Trovaso, in Dorsoduro. But, you wouldn’t just pick one off the shelf, laddie. These beauties are custom made; that may be  why you are called a “custom-er”! 

So, your name would go onto the waiting list, and then, when you reach the heady heights of the top of that list, you may still have at least another year to wait and twiddle your thumbs. By that time, you will have saved up enough spare cash in your gold plated piggy bank to pay for this magnificent craft. (I do hope you know how to row standing up, facing the front of the boat, by the way?)

Squero, San Trovaso

They also repair gondolas and other types of boats

Getting its bottom tended to

You can find out more about this skilled craft on internet sites such as this one:


Filed under Artisans, Boats, Dorsoduro, Gondola, Venice

And now for something completely different

Two decidedly different offerings from Venice.

 Murano is not all about the glass factories and salesrooms. First, from the Chiesa di San Pietro on Murano:  this is just one of the many startling wooden carvings you will find if you go into the sacristy of this church. 

Then there is the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato. It has the most wonderful mosaic floors, shown on this video:

I can’t promise that you will be able to see this next feature in person. She was part of a Russian tour group in Dorsoduro, and I really admired her sparkly stockings! There were little rhinestones all up the seams, and the butterflies also featured glitter.

So, there you go.There is something for everyone in Venice.   🙂


Filed under Art, Artisans, Churches, Fashion, Islands, Mosaic floors, People, stocking seams, Venice

Old stuff

Old espresso machine

Very old espresso maker, in Campo Santa Margherita. That coffee was HOT.

Water door latch with character

Wooden door, showing signs of age and weather


Filed under Architecture, Artisans, beverages, Venice

Vera da pozzo (Well head)

If you have a lazy 4000 euro, this lovely specimen can be yours. I didn’t ask about delivery charges.

You can see this, and so many other fine decorating ideas at the Laboratorio Marmi Artistici, Cannaregio 2292/E

I really think that Johnnny should have a look at this place, when redecorating his wee palazzo.

If you want to visit this showplace, just ring the bell, and you’ll be allowed to enter. The owner has been told he must find an alternative venue for his workshop/display centre. He has been given until the end of November, 2012 (as I understood it), to find a place and move everything. So, another precious piece of Venice may be lost.


Filed under Artisans

The rot sets in

Among the features you will notice in Venice, are the mooring posts and the navigation posts.

They are besieged by the tides, and by barnacles

Exposure to atmospheric air leads to rotting.

A whole trade has developed around the replacement of the rotten poles.

Now, technology rears its head. Plastic posts have been developed, which look ALMOST like the real thing. They won’t rot like the wooden ones. But, what will happen to all those currently employed in this trade, once the plastic posts are used exclusively?

Next time you’re in Venice, keep your eyes open and see how many of the plastic posts you spot.

Plastic progress?


Filed under Artisans, People