A few more from Venice

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A poster in the Ghetto Nuovo

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.

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Carnevale is (never) over

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And neither is the spritz

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.

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The ‘Ignoble Grotesque’ outside Santa Maria Formosa – as Snoopy would say: “Bleah!”

More stones of Venice – sombre rather than bestial.

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Presumably Ruskin would have liked this better.

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A living face outshines all stone ones.

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A pensive face.

There is always room for kitsch in a place like Venice, especially surrounded with spring flowers.

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‘Waiting for Peace’ on Burano

And sometimes kitsch goes all the way through Baroque and out the other side, and becomes art.

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Glasscraft on Murano

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Burano, channeling the house colors of our old neighborhood, Buffalo’s Allentown

Also works of art in their own way are Venetian pastries.

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A sampling at Pasticcere Nobile

Venice famously has its dark side, but I got just this one reminder of its most gothic (non-Ruskin sense) movie representation.

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Don’t look now

Notwithstanding, we looked to the bright side, especially after torrential rain.

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Sunlight on the Zattere

As do Italians generally – despite austerity, unemployment and oligarchic corruption.

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Bye bye Berlusconi

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