There are five synagogues in the Cannaregio – two of them in active use – and, according to current figures, 30 Jews still living in the Ghetto itself. The medieval density of the area – really a tiny island within the island of Venice, subject to nightly curfews – meant that the houses were built several stories taller than elsewhere. Early skyscrapers.
Stones of Venice: According to Ruskin, this head on the facade of the church of Santa Maria Formosa, “leering in bestial degradation,” summed up what he called the ‘Grotesque Renaissance’ – or what we’d call the early Baroque. Madly moralistic as JR’s aesthetics were, it’s hard not to feel a sneaking admiration for his OTT vision of the Way Things Ought to Be. His one-man war on the Baroque was a little baroque in itself.
More stones of Venice – sombre rather than bestial.
There is always room for kitsch in a place like Venice, especially surrounded with spring flowers.
And sometimes kitsch goes all the way through Baroque and out the other side, and becomes art.
Also works of art in their own way are Venetian pastries.
Venice famously has its dark side, but I got just this one reminder of its most gothic (non-Ruskin sense) movie representation.
Notwithstanding, we looked to the bright side, especially after torrential rain.
As do Italians generally – despite austerity, unemployment and oligarchic corruption.