Monday, January 09, 2006

Venice - Jan 2005 Part V

Next morning - the morning of the Befana we woke a little later than we had wanted and did not make it to the regatta - some other time perhaps. We did manage to pluck up the courage to go to the supermarket, where we got some amazing cheeses and hams for the homemade sandwiches we were intending to eat in the courtyard around the St. Maria of Murano.

We checked out of the Giardinetto and set off with our packed meals for Murano, passing the cemetery island on the way. We did not stop off to look around, although I dare say it will be as impressive and beautiful as our own Proto here in Athens.

An island populated by cypress trees - Venice's cenetery

We ate in the courtyard of the Santa Maria after our visit. Again no photos allowed of the mosaic work, such a disappointment - but definitely worth visiting if one is a fan. Full length theotokos - complete with cross-shadow (if I am not mistaken - it was a year ago). Hmmm I'm confused - why would there be a cross shadow in a church that never had iconoclastic bishops? Very confused. Either there was no cross shadow and I am imagining it, or I am remembering this correctly, in which case, Venice was more under the influence of Constantinople than not. Iconoclasm and the whole cross shadow business is a subject for another time, though. I can't remember where I have seen it most pronounced, but I know I have been there more than once - so probably in St. Sophia itself - or one of the Thessaloniki churches.

The church of Santa Maria in Murano in daylight

On our walk around and some way into the almost frenzy of shopping for glassware, we ran across this chappie in the photo below. He runs a third or fourth generation glass works and happened to be in the place on the Befana public holiday.

Corinna and I had both been to Venice before, at ages near enough the single figures. Both of us recalled very little of our previous visits apart from the very vivid memories of the glass works. This man put on a performance for us, heating and blowing and shaping and spinning the bottle for us - I was surprised to hear the sound the glass makes while red hot is pretty much the same sound it would make when cold when he beat it slightly with his tongs.

We thanked the man for the demonstration and headed back to the Lido to pick up the car. We crossed from the Lido to the ferry port in very dense fog and then crossed the bridge and set off for the other daughter of Constantinople on the Italian Adriatic - Ravenna - some two hours drive to the south.

The fog stayed dense all the way there. We got very lost, not having a decent map of Ravenna, but found the hotel Piccolo, booked through the internet. It was so-so, but cheap and the staff were friendly.

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