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Museums…Lots of Museums.

Posted Mar 06 2012 9:29am

Venice has a boat-load (ba-dump-bump!) of museums of every type, and Ant and I got to enjoy our fair share.

We woke up on our second day, had breakfast, and quickly went into the city, as a strike was about to occur that would shut down public transport. Lucky for us, our friend Sebastiano drove us in to town, and we wandered Venice the cheap and fast way – by foot! All in all, we probably walked around 25 miles over our two days in Venice, since we quite literally did not stop walking for more than an hour or so for between 10 to 15 hours a day. My feet look the same as they did after my first half-marathon – blistered, cut, and chaffed. Poor babies.

First, we went into the famous and stunningly gorgeous St. Mark’s Basilica, which dates back to the 1300′s, and is covered with “borrowed” goods from everywhere in the former Venetian empire – Byzantine mosaics, Turkish columns, etc. It’s totally gorgeous, if a bit over the top. We wandered around for a bit, and admired all the luxurious artwork inside and out. Each column is made of different material with different decoration, so it’s quite fun to see all the details and intricacies of the exterior facade.

St. Mark's Basilica - Int

St. Mark's Basilica - Int

Then, we went into the Ducal Palace, where the Doge lived. First built in 1309, it has undergone much reconstruction and contains many masterpieces. It’s so pink and white outside that I thought it looked a bit like a cupcake. Anthony thought I was crazy.

Inside are hundreds of beautiful, if dark, paintings symbolizing justice and power. There are also various forms of weaponry, ranging from swords to inwardly spiked collars (ouch!) and guns that looked more like wall sconces than killing machines. We also crossed the Bridge of Sighs, which linked the Palace with the Prisons. It’s called the Bridge of Sighs because of the moans of desperation heard by the prisoners after they were dealt harsh justice for minor offenses.

After a very late lunch of grilled fish and vegetables, we headed to the Peggy Guggenheim museum, which was my favorite of the trip. Peggy turned her palazzo into a museum featuring the best contemporary artists of her day, from Picasso to Max Earnst to Kandinsky. The work was some wonderful examples of modern art of the 20th century, it it was such a wonderful museum to stroll around and admire. (TIP: Get the audio guide. At this museum, it was really helpful to understand not only the depth and breadth of the work, but also the relationship Peggy Guggenheim had with the artists.)

Peggy Guggenheim Interior

Peggy Guggenheim Interior

Finally, we finished the day at the Ca’ Rezzonico, a museum in yet another Palazzo featuring Venitian works from the 14th – 18th century. It also showed the set up of how a Palazzo would look, complete with a lux bedroom and massive (read: fantasy) closet. The works ranged from gorgeous to bizarre, including one painting of some pissed off Amazon’s beating the crap out of a guy using musical instruments as their weapons.

Ca Rezzonica

Our dinner of the evening was a whole other story, one that includes friends, delicious food, lots of giggles…oh, and a touch of wine.


All Photos Courtesy of  Anthony van der Hoorn , my love and photographer extraordinaire. 

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