Monday, 28 February 2011

Inspiration Friday (Well, Monday): A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him

Arthur Symons puts it perfectly - although I am far from a realist, Venice certainly captivated me.

Although I do feel that it is cheating a little to call this an Inspiration Friday, not only because it is in fact a Monday (sorry about that), but because this is more me telling you about my trip. However I couldn't call it anything else because I WAS inspired.

Most of the pictures speak for themselves, but a couple need a little explanation. Firstly, it was leading up to the beginning of the carnival whilst we were there and so I thought it was only appropriate, if a little bit tourist-y, to buy a Venetian mask. There are hundreds and hundreds of shops selling these around Venice and I could honestly stare at them forever. This is of course a simple version, but the most fascinating are the giant golden creations with stars and moons and butterflies. The design and craftsmanship that must be involved is stunning.

The last five shots are of what my mum initially assumed to be a gay porn shop, but was actually a little gallery/shop entitled Fiorella Gallery and run by an eccentric designer named Fiorella Mancini. It sold contemporary art and dazzling, crushed velvet smoking jackets covered in parrot prints, beaded crucifixes or Fiorella's trademark - rats. The shop is like being on the inside of a crazy dressing up box, and although the clothes are priced at hundreds of euros, I was hospitably accosted with jackets and skull-shaped goblets to "take pictures". It was amazing fun and I would have bought everything in there if I could.

Other highlights include...

-Walking through the city at night eating chestnut ice cream in the rain.

- Riding the water bus and considering about the logistics of running a city like Venice, the absolute strangeness of having no roads or cars. All food deliveries are done by boats. Hearses are boats. We even saw some cement mixers on a boat. Incredible.

- Visiting the palace which was so beautifully constructed, with such interesting history.

- The bizarre sight of the most opulent designer shops squeezed into the tiny, narrow streets.

But my favourite part of all was just walking. Venice isn't a big city, but I could just walk and walk and walk. Without the interruption of roads and fast food chains, only tiny bridges and cobbled streets, it is delightful to just explore and discover details you didn't see the first time. It was charming in every sense of the word and I hope it stays unspoiled for as long as possible.

P.s. I really encourage you to check out the Fiorella Gallery website, Mancini's story is beyond cool.

P.p.s Also, all of these photos are digital and I took a ton with my film camera, so expect a second update at some point in the distant future when they are developed.

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