Today was my last day in Venice, and I spent most of it visiting some of Carlo Scarpa’s work around the city. Scarpa, who was a Venetian native, left a number of projects in the area, including a number of small works at the Biennale, which I saw yesterday.
I also waited in line to get into San Marco for the first time, and, as usual, had some memorable meals.
I’m packing up, and heading for Padua tomorrow, and I’m sorry to leave Venice. I’m also getting a little tired of moving, but I’m looking forward to the last week of my trip.
Here are the photos (click to enlarge):
I awoke to a glorious morning, with no trace of last night's rain.
Rambling towards the Palazzo Querini Stampalia, in Campo Santa Maria di Formosa, I stopped off at this church, Zanipolo, on my way.
These statues are lit as though they are intended to strike fear in the hearts of would-be sinners.
The Palazzo Querini Stampalia, was originally a palace belonging to a wealthy family, but it now houses a library/museum. Carlo Scarpa renovated the 16th century palace's ground floor, and garden. He also built a new entrance bridge in the 1960s.
Water and lily gardens always seem to play important roles in Scarpa's outdoor spaces, and this is no exception.
Water flows from one end of the garden to the other.
Scarpa's interior allows water from the neighboring canal to enter the building. At high tide, a siphon system drains water into this neighboring room, which trickles in a series of paths created for it until it covers those. Unfortunately, I was there for low tide, and wasn't able to watch the process. By the way, photography is not allowed inside, but one thing that I've learned on this trip is that by pouring on a little charm, and offering a big warm smile, most rules can be broken. I was able to sweet-talk the guard pictured in the background here, although, for some reason, she was insistent on staying in the frame (I didn't object because it was certainly nice to have a scale figure).
I've gotten in the habit of soliciting my waiter's opinions for every meal. This one suggested fresh duck ravioli with compliments from the chef. I was not disappointed, although my judgement may have been impaired because, in addition to the wine that I ordered with my meal, the waiter insisted on bringing me a complimentary spritz before the meal, and a limoncello afterwards.
Shoot first, ask questions later. Photography is strictly forbidden inside San Marco. Although none of my discreetly captured images came out well, I figured I needed to show one for the record.
To my great joy, the old Olivetti showroom, designed by Carlo Scarpa for the beautifully-designed-typewriter company, has been recently restored, and just opened up to visitors in April. For years, it had been a cheesy souvenir art shop, and its proprietor didn't like architects poking around.
Although most people would find the entry fee to be a rip-off, Scarpa enthusiasts, and Olivetti afficionados (I fit in both of these categories) will find the tiny museum well worth the price. The original typewriters and adding machines are on display, too.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of discovering an old, beaten-up Lettera 22, just like this one, in my grandparents' attic. It now graces my mantle, when I am not nostalgically writing with it, and it was nice to see one in a setting designed specifically for it.
Upper level windows look out onto Piazza San Marco.
The wash room is on the other side of this wall, which is provided with ventilation (and eavesdropping potential) by these teeth. A beautiful wooden door encloses the toilet room.
The entrance is directly off of the arcade on the piazza.
From my brief observations while standing out front, most people, who carrying around their overpriced gelato, are only briefly distracted by the bizarre and ancient machines in the windows.
A little touch of color.
Cicheti, again. I'm going to have a hard time without the snack time to which I've grown accustomed here.
The sleepy residential neighborhoods are sometimes enlivened when locals see one another on the other side of the canal, and shout a friendly, "Ciao, Paolo! (or some other name)" across the water.
Only the motorboats and the Teva sandals betray the century.
If the only color provided is from pale brick, the boats make up for it.
The kids were called to dinner, and this soccer ball slowly bounced to rest in this corner.
This alley is far wider than the one that I showed the other day, but a scale figure is provided.
The tide slowly approaches the high water mark.
The Campo San Barnaba is a lively place to hang out in the evening. In fact, this whole neighborhood is. Not coincidentally, most of the universities are located nearby.
My first course for dinner: spaghetti alla vongole. Just after my plate was cleared, a loud marital argument broke out in a fourth floor apartment above the enclosed courtyard in which the restaurant was located. Without warning, a plate and fork were violently ejected from the window. Fortunately, they both happened to land without hitting anyone in the crowded eatery. About twenty minutes later, it was made audibly clear that the couple had settled their differences.
My second course: a mixture of fresh local seafood. I think this is what I ordered last night, but I finally got it tonight. The rest of the meal was enjoyed without any defenestrated silverware.
Camp Santa Margherita is full of restaurants and bars, which are very popular among the student crowd at night.
My final view towards the Grand Canal on my way back to Cannaregio.