The timeless fascination exerted by Venice on its visitors is indisputable and it draws millions of people to wander around the tiny streets and the canals of this unique city. Even if I have been in Venice several times, each time is an amazing discovery of hidden corners and aspects I had not noticed before. This is a place I can come to endless times and always feel a sense of connection and belonging. As a matter of fact my family originates from the Republic of Venice, when their reach extended also to Apulia and they needed to have a permanent resident representative in what is my home town.
One of the recent times I was in town, just for a stop over in between weird flight coincidences, I decided to go for lunch at the Caffè Florian on Piazza San Marco. This is possibly one of the longest standing businesses in Venice and the oldest cafe in the world. This amazing coffee house has been serving all kinds of clients since 1720, responding to all kinds of requests, at times not only confined to quality food and drink.
The opera house in Venice is called Teatro La Fenice, The Phoenix, rightly so as it has been destroyed or burned down at least three time, since its inauguration in 1792. The last fire happened in 1996 and it took eight years to reconstruct it and bring it to the original splendour. Now it is as brand new, probably even too new to look almost fake but its charme as one of the prestigious theatrical landmarks in Italy remains unchanged. One of last operas I saw there was Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Antonio Vivaldi‘s music is indissolubly associated in my mind with Venice and its amazing views across the lagoon. Indeed, Vivaldi spent most of his life in Venice, although his fame spread across Europe during his lifetime and, in a weird twist of fate, he died in Vienna in poverty in 1741 after he failed to get an appointment as court musician there. For a long time, Vivaldi was associated with the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, an institution for abandoned children, where he worked as priest and musician, composing and performing for the resident all-female ensemble there.
A painter of light, water and air like JMW Turner could not resist the seductive attraction of Venice and her unique architecture. Here on the right is one of the paintings Turner realised while his Grand Tour of Europe, now exhibited at Tate Britain. This one probably inspired by the view from the hotel he was staying in at the time, The Europa, at the beginning of the Gran Canal.
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