29.12.2018÷02.01.2019 – VENICE’S NEW YEAR’S EVE, OPERA AND NEW YEAR

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THIS TIME WE CHOSE NEW YEAR’S EVE IN VENICE.

 

THOSE WHO KNOW US KNOW THAT WE LIKE SPENDING THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR AT THE OPERA. PREFERABLY WITH A BANQUET. UNFORTUNATELY, IT ISN’T EASY TO FIND THE PLACE SATISFYING OUR WHIMS. OUR SELECTION CRITERIA ARE QUITE RIGOROUS. FIRST OF ALL, THE PERFORMANCE MUST BE A COMPLETE WORK (COMPILATIONS OR GREATEST HITS ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION). IT DOES NOT MATTER IF WE ARE WATCHING AN OPERA OR OPERETTA. BANQUET AND/OR CATERING ARE HIGHLY WELCOME. IF ON TOP OF THIS THE ORGANIZER PROVIDES A NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL, OUR REQUIREMENTS ARE MET IN 100%.

THE NEW YEAR’S OPERA SPECTACLE IN VENICE ONLY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT MET OUR REQUIREMENTS, BUT IT WAS MORE ATTRACTIVE IN OTHER RESPECTS.

90 € 00 PER PERSON IS SECURING AN UNNUMBERED SEAT IN THE SALONS OF PALAZZO BARBARIGO MINOTTO. WE WATCHED, AND ACTUALLY, RATHER WE LISTENED HERE, ARIAS FROM “TRAVIATA” WITH EXCELLENT MUSICAL UNDERCOAT – WE ESPECIALLY LIKED THE PIANIST (ROBERTO BARRELS). I CONSIDER THE CONCERT WAS VERY AVERAGE. I ASSUME THAT THE DIRECTOR OF THE PERFORMANCE USED WITH PREMEDITATION THE INTERIOR OF THE PALACE AS A NATURAL, COST-FREE SCENOGRAPHY FOR THIS WORK.

I WOULD CONSIDER THE COSTUMES OF THE PERFORMERS AS GREAT IF THE PERFORMANCE TOOK PLACE UNDER ONE OF THE NUMEROUS, LESS KNOWN VENETIAN BRIDGES. HOWEVER, IN MY OPINION, THEY DID NOT FIT WELL TO THE 17th CENTURY PALACE. EVEN CONSIDERING THAT VERDI’S TRAVIATA ACTION WAS PLACED IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19th CENTURY, THE CLOTHING OF THE PERFORMERS, CLOSER – IN MY OPINION – TO THE 30s OF THE 20th CENTURY AND GIVING AN IMPRESSION OF NOT TOO FRESH, PERSONALLY DISGUSTED ME SLIGHTLY. WHEN WE ADD TO THIS AN AVERAGE CLASS VOCALIZATION, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION OF THE EVENING WAS THE ATMOSPHERE OF WORSHIP FOR MUSIC PREVAILING IN THESE NEGLECTED INTERIORS OF ONCE MAGNIFICENT PALACE.
THIS ATMOSPHERE IS THE RESULT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF A CULTURAL ASSOCIATION, WHICH SINCE 2005 HAS BEEN EXHIBITING OPERA PERFORMANCES INSPIRED BY THE PRINCIPLES OF THE 19th c. “SALOTTO MUSICALE”.

THE PALAZZO BARBARIGO MINOTTO (AKA PALAZZO MINOTTO BARBARIGO) IS THE 15th c. PALACE ON THE GRAND CANAL NEXT TO THE MUCH LARGER PALAZZO CORNER. THE ANCIENT PART, A 15th c. VENETIAN-GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE FEATURING 12th c. BYZANTINE FRIEZES, WAS KNOWN AS PALAZZO MINOTTO. THE ORIGINALLY EXISTING TWO PROPERTIES (PALAZZO BARBARIGO AND PALAZZO MINOTTO) WERE COMBINED IN THE 17th c. TOGETHER TO FORM ONE STRUCTURE IN THE STYLE OF THE VENETIAN GOTHIC.
THE BUILDING WAS OWNED BY THE BARBARIGO FAMILY FOR SEVERAL CENTURIES. IT WAS HERE THAT GREGORIO BARBARIGO WHO LATER REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE PAPAL CROWN WAS BORN.
THE PALACE WAS LATER OWNED BY THE MINOTTO AND MARTINENGO FAMILIES.

THREE ROOMS ARE LOCATED ALONG THE GRAND CANAL, AND THE NEXT THREE OVERLOOK THE RIO ZAGURI.

IN 1739, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MARRIAGE OF GREGORIO BARBARIGO WITH A BEAUTIFUL INTELLECTUAL AND PATRON OF THE ARTS, CATERINA SAGREDO, THE GREATEST ARTISTS OF THIS PERIOD WERE EMPLOYED TO DECORATE THE TWO PARTS OF THE PALACE. AMONG THEM ARE SUCH MASTERS AS GIAMBATTISTA TIEPOLO, FRANCESCO FONTEBASSO, GEROLAMO MENGOZZI COLONNA AND CARPOFORO MAZZETTI. PIETRO BARBARIGO ORDERED FRESCOES AND PAINTINGS FROM THEM.

IN 1741 FERRARESE MENGOZZI COLONNA PAINTED THE DOMESTIC CHAPEL LOCATED IN A RECESS OF THE BUILDING AND HIDDEN IT BY TWO WOODEN LEAVES.
THE PALACE’S DOORS ARE IN THE SAME STYLE. THEY HAVE WALNUT FRAMES AND BRONZE LEAF-SHAPED DOOR HANDLES.

THE CHAPEL AND THE MAIN ROOMS HAVE FLOORS IN THE STYLE OF LOUIS XIV. THEY ARE MADE OF A MIXTURE OF TERRAZZO PAVING AND VENETIAN “PASTELLONE” PAVING ENCRUSTED WITH WOOD OBTAINED FROM THE ROOTS OF OLIVE TREES AND OTHER VALUABLE INTARSIA.
IN 1742 MENGOZZI COLONNA ALSO DESIGNED AND MADE BEAUTIFUL VENETIAN AND TERRAZZO PAVEMENTS IN THE CENTRAL HALL (PORTEGO).

ALSO, GIAMBATTISTA TIEPOLO BEGAN HIS WORK IN 1741, PAINTING MONOCHROMES AND TWO OVERDOORS CREATING A FRAME FOR THE CENTRAL CANVAS “THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE AND NOBILITY OVER IGNORANCE”. IT WAS PAINTED BY TIEPOLO IN 1744-1745. NEAR TWO FEMALE FIGURES DEPICTING VIRTUE AND NOBILITY, THERE IS YOUNG PAGE HOLDING A DRAPE OF THEIR VEST. IT IS PROBABLY A PORTRAIT OF GIUSEPPE MARIA – THE SON OF A PAINTER. BEHIND HIM, WE SEE ANOTHER FIGURE, APPARENTLY A SELF-PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST HIMSELF. IGNORANCE, DEFEATED, FALLS DOWN DRAGGING WITH HER A CUPID WHO IS HOLDING A BAT, AN ALLEGORY OF ADDICTION. THE PAINTING IS AN EXAMPLE OF ARTISTIC MATURITY AND HIGH QUALITY OF TIEPOLO’S WORKS, WHICH ARE HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY THE WORKS OF VERONESE. REPLACED BY A 20th c. COPY, THE ORIGINAL FROM 1745 IS NOW PART OF THE CÀ REZZONICO COLLECTION.

ALL DECORATIONS REFER TO THE CULTURAL AND SCIENTIFIC INTERESTS OF GREGORIO AND CATERINA. FOUR MONOCHROMES REPRESENT SCIENCES: HISTORY, ASTRONOMY, GEOGRAPHY AND ASTROLOGY. THE OTHER FOUR THE ARTS: PAINTING, SCULPTURE, MUSIC AND POETRY. THE FRESCOES ON THE PANELS ABOVE THE DOOR REPRESENT ADVANTAGES AND ABUNDANCE.
NEOCLASSICISM, WHICH THEN CONQUERED VENICE, HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THE WHOLE CYCLE. IT WAS VISIBLE THROUGH DECORATIVE MOTIFS: COPIES OF ANCIENT SCULPTURES, SARCOPHAGUS, AMPHORAS AND VASES, AS WELL AS THE “OLYMPIC GRACE” OF ITS FIGURES. THE SALON WAS ALSO CALLED THE “ROOM OF WISDOM” BECAUSE IT EMPHASIZED THE IDEA PROMOTED BY CATERINA SAGREDO AND GREGORIO BARBARIGO, THAT ART AND SCIENCE GIVE WEALTH AND NOBILITY.

MENTIONED ABOVE ROOM NAMED “TIEPOLO ROOM”, ALMOST ENTIRELY, WAS DECORATED BY A VENETIAN MASTER.

CARPOFORO MAZZETTI, THE PUPIL OF COMING FROM TICINO (TESSYNA) ABBONDIO STAZIO, FORMED STUCCOS IN THE ALCOVE.
THE ROCAILLE-STYLE DECORATIONS COME OUT OF THE CENTRAL APERTURE IN WHICH THE BED IS PLACED. THEN, DECORATED WITH MIRRORS ARE WRAPPING BOTH ALCOVE WALLS, REACHING THE DOOR. ABOVE THEM, THE ARTIST PLACED THE COAT OF ARMS AND ANGELS CARRYING THE SHIELD.
MAZZETTI ALSO CREATED MYTHOLOGY BASED STUCCOES IN THE DINING ROOM.

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TRAVIATA

TRAVIATA IN PALAZZO BARBARIGO-MINOTTO

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THE CONCERT HAD THREE PARTS. EACH IN A DIFFERENT INTERIOR. THE FIRST ONE TAKES PLACE IN “PORTEGO” – THE CENTRAL HALL OF THE PALACE. WE LISTENED TO THE SECOND PART IN THE “TIEPOLO ROOM” DESCRIBED ABOVE IN DETAIL, AND THE THIRD ONE IN THE AFOREMENTIONED, FULL OF MAGNIFICENT STUCCOES ALCOVE.

ALTHOUGH IT COULD BE DEFINITELY BETTER, I THINK THIS CONCERT WAS INTERESTING AND WORTH WATCHING. IT IS NOT OFTEN POSSIBLE TO SEE PERFORMANCES REACTIVATING THE FAMOUS, ITALIAN, 19th CENTURY “MUSICAL SALONS” (SALOTTO MUSICALE) IN THE OLD PALACE INTERIORS. ESPECIALLY SO GREAT.

 

THIS TIME WE TRAVELED IN FOUR.

 

SLEEPING

 

WE LIVED IN MESTRE. THE DISTRICT OF VENICE SEPARATED FROM THE HISTORICAL CENTER BY A LONG BRIDGE DELLA LIBERTÀ.

OUR PLACE – DA EMI E GIULY – IS ABOUT 60 m2 APARTMENT (AROUND 100 m2 INCLUDING TERRACE AND BALCONY) CONSISTING OF TWO BEDROOMS, HALLWAY, LIVING ROOM, BATHROOM AND KITCHEN. THERE IS ALSO A TERRACE AND A BALCONY, AND PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT – A PLACE TO PARK IN AN ENCLOSED YARD.
ONE OF THE BEDROOMS HAS A LARGE DOUBLE BED, THE OTHER ONE, TWO SEPARATED BEDS. IN THE KITCHEN, YOU WILL FIND FULL EQUIPMENT.

THE ANTIQUE DECOR OF THE LIVING ROOM, HALL AND LARGE BEDROOM EMPHASIZES THE ITALIAN CHARACTER OF THIS HOUSE. SOME MAY BE DISTURBED BY A SMALL TV SCREEN, HOWEVER, WHO COMES TO VENICE TO WATCH TV ???

A LARGE LIBRARY WITH MANY GUIDES IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES AND MAGAZINES ABOUT VENICE AND THE WHOLE REGION IS VERY USEFUL ESPECIALLY FOR THE MORE INQUISITIVE VISITORS. THE APARTMENT CREW WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH MORE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE.

LOCATION OF THE APARTMENT A FEW DOZEN METERS FROM THE STREET PROVIDES TOTAL PEACE.

THE NEAREST BUS STOP, WHICH WILL TAKE YOU TO VENICE IN A MAXIMUM OF 20 MINUTES IS 150 m AWAY. IF YOU PREFER A TRAIN, THEN YOU HAVE TO WALK OR GET THE TRAM TO THE TRAIN STATION SOME 600 m.

NEARBY THERE IS ALSO A SUPERMARKET PAM (550 m) AND INTERSPAR (700 m).

IN THE AREA, YOU WILL ALSO FIND SEVERAL PLACES WITH FOOD. THE HOSTERIA DANTE IS 200 M AWAY, AND RIGHT NEXT TO THE BUS AND TRAM STOP YOU WILL GET A GOOD LOOKING KEBAB.
WE RECOMMEND THIS PLACE WITH A BIG PLEASURE.

 

TRANSPORT IN VENICE

YOU WILL DO THE BEST CAREFULLY ANALYZING THE PRICES AND WHAT YOU WILL GET FOR YOUR MONEY BEFORE USING ANY TRANSPORT. SEVERAL FACTORS INFLUENCE THE COST OF MOVING FROM PLACE TO PLACE. THE MOST IMPORTANT IN MY OPINION IS THE LENGTH OF YOUR STAY. THE LONGER YOU STAY, THE LESS YOU PAY (OF A SINGLE RIDE). THE SECOND IMPORTANT FACTOR IS THE SUM OF SEVERAL FACTORS: FINANCIAL CAPACITY, PHYSICAL FITNESS AND WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE. REMEMBER THAT THE MOST EXPENSIVE IS THE WATER TRAM CALLED HERE “VAPORETTO”. THE RIDE COSTS 7 € 50 NO MATTER WHERE YOU GOING.

IF YOU ARE NOT ON THE SO-CALLED BUDGET, THE PROBLEM COMES DOWN TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT TRANSPORT TICKET. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE LENGTH OF YOUR STAY. IN EACH KIOSK (TABACCHI) YOU WILL GET 1, 2, 3 OR 6 DAYS TICKET FOR ALL BUSES (DOES NOT INCLUDE TRANSPORT TO THE AIRPORT AND TRAINS), TRAMS AND WATER TRAMS. THE COST IS 20, 30, 40 AND 60 € 00 RESPECTIVELY. IF YOU PAY BY CARD ADD 1 € 00 OF AN ADDITIONAL FEE. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT FOR …

HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO HOW MUCH YOU SPEND, CONSIDER WHETHER IT IS MORE PROFITABLE FOR YOU TO USE MAINLY BUSES, SUBURBAN TRAINS AND TRAMS (NOT THOSE WATER ONES). A SINGLE RIDE COSTS 1 € 50. IF YOU LIKE AND CAN WALK, THEN MOST OF THE CITY YOU CAN REACH ON LEGS. THIS WAY OF VISITING, HOWEVER, TAKES A LOT OF TIME BECAUSE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE MOVING IN NARROW STREETS SOMETIMES PREVENTS FREE MOVEMENT AROUND THE PLACE.

I SUGGEST PLANNING IN ADVANCE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE ON ISLANDS ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY WATER TRANSPORT. THE MOST REASONABLE SEEMS TO BE A VERY EARLY START TO VISIT ONLY ISLANDS, TO WHICH ONE OF THE MANY FERRIES (VAPORETTO) ARRIVES. SEASON TICKET FOR 24 HOURS TRANSPORT COSTS 20 € 00, BUT IF WE USE IT, FOR EXAMPLE, 6 TIMES WITH A WATER TRAM AND 2 X WITH A BUS, WE WILL SAVE 13 € 00.

I TRIED TO USE SEVERAL SMARTPHONE APPLICATIONS TO FACILITATE MOVING AROUND VENICE. AVM VENEZIA, ORARI ACTV, VENICE AND CITYMAPS 2GO. THE FIRST TWO ACTED AS THEY WANTED – I DO NOT RECOMMEND. THE THIRD ONE HELPS VERY MUCH IN MOVING AROUND THE CITY WHILE OFFLINE. THE FOURTH ONE DID NOT DELIGHT, BUT I USED IT RARELY …

 

FOOD

 

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE PLACES VISITED AND REMEMBERED BY US.

HOSTERIA AL CANTON – VERY NICE PLACE 100 METERS (GOING STRAIGHT AHEAD – Granviale Santa Maria Elisabetta, 2, 30126 Lido VE) FROM THE LIDO (S.M.E.) FERRY STOP. HERE YOU CAN ENJOY A DELICIOUS COFFEE, DRINK A NICE PROSECCO OR EAT SOMETHING GOOD. ALL AT A REASONABLE PRICE. SERVICE OK.

OSTERIA SOTTOVENTO – (Riva Longa, 27, 30141 Venezia VE) – HIDDEN BEHIND THE FACADES OF BUILDINGS STANDING ALONG RIVA LONGA, A CLIMATICALLY LOOKING PLACE ATTRACTS LOCALS AND TOURISTS. IT IS LOCATED ABOUT 100 m FROM THE MUSEUM FERRY PIER GOING TOWARDS THE PONTE LONGO BRIDGE IN THE DEPTHS OF THE PASSAGE THAT YOU USE TO GET TO A SMALL SUPERMARKET COOP.
ONE WILL FIND A LARGE BEER GARDEN IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE.
FAST SERVICE AND GOOD COFFEE. A BIT EXPENSIVE … (DRINKING ESPRESSO A DOZEN OR SO TIMES OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS WE PAID THE MOST OFTEN 1 € 10 EACH. SOMETIMES, A LITTLE MORE. HERE WE PAID 2 € 00 CUP, WHICH IS 70% ABOVE THE AVERAGE)

RESTAURANT IL PARADISO PERDUTO (Cannaregio, 2540, 30121 Venezia VE) – WOMBAT FOUND IT IN THE DEPTHS OF THE INTERNET – ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHER INTERESTING CULINARY PLACES.
ALL THE OTHERS WE WENT IN, WERE EITHER CLOSED OR FULL OF CLIENTS.
HERE, ALTHOUGH WE DID NOT HAVE A RESERVATION, SOMEHOW WE FIT. DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE RESTAURANT WAS FILLED BY THE CROWD, PLACING AN ORDER DID NOT LAST LONG. THE GIRL WHO SERVED US WORKED VERY QUICKLY AND DEFINITELY KNEW WHAT SHE WAS DOING. ALSO, WAITING FOR INDIVIDUAL DISHES DID NOT LAST LONG.
WE MAINLY ORDERED DISHES WITH MARINE INGREDIENTS. ALL GREAT. I PARTICULARLY RECOMMEND FISH SOUP AND WONDERFULLY PREPARED OCTOPUS. A VERY NUTRITIOUS DINNER FOR FOUR PEOPLE COST ABOUT 100 € 00 (WITHOUT ALCOHOL). THE TAIWANESE SITTING NEXT TO US WERE ALSO DELIGHTED WITH THEIR FOOD.
WE RECOMMEND THIS PLACE VERY MUCH.

RESTAURANT BAR RIVA (Fondamenta Croce, 91, 30133 Venezia VE) – WE CAME HERE BY ACCIDENT. IT WAS AN EARLY JANUARY COLD EVENING. GIUDECCA LOOKED EXTINCT. WE WENT TO THE NOT BAD RATED RESTAURANT “I FIGLI DELLE STELLE” (Giudecca – Zitelle 70/71, 30100 Venice, +39 041 523 0004). UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN WE GOT THERE, IT WAS CLOSED. RETURNING TO THE GIUDECCA PALANCA FERRY TERMINAL, WE DECIDED TO ENTER THE FIRST OPEN DINER.
THE LARGE DINING ROOM WAS EMPTY. ONLY ONE RUSSIAN WOMAN SAT HERE. SEEING THAT THE PLACE SERVED BY THE CHINESE MAINLY OFFERS A PIZZA, I ASKED HER WHAT SHE THINKS ABOUT THE DISH SHE WAS EATING. SHE SAID, SHE DECIDED TO EAT HERE BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY HUNGRY AND COLD. THE FOOD WAS VERY AVERAGE.
WE WERE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION, SO WE ORDERED A PIZZA. WE WAITED VERY SHORT FOR THE ORDER. ACTUALLY AVERAGE PIZZA (NOT FROM THE FREEZER I HOPE). IF YOU ARE VERY HUNGRY, YOU CAN EAT HERE. CHEAP, AND SERVICE R OK.

 

SIGHTSEEING

 

IN VENICE WE VISITED FOUR CHURCHES: THE REDEEMER (CHIESA DEL SANTISSIMO REDENTORE), THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY OF THE ROSARY (“I GESUATI”, CHIESA DI SANTA MARIA DEL ROSARIO), THE BASILICA OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND ST. DONATUS (BASILICA DEI SANTI MARIA E DONATO) AND, OF COURSE, THE St. MARK’s BASILICA (BASILICA DI SAN MARCO). WE ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDING ALL OF THEM. FREE ADMISSION EVERYWHERE, EVEN TO ST. MARK’S BASILICA, WHERE YOU HAVE TO STAND IN A FAIRLY LONG, BUT FAST-MOVING QUEUE. ONE HAS TO PAY IF WANT TO SEE THE SO-CALLED GOLDEN ALTAR (2 € 00) AND THE TREASURY (3 € 00).

WE ALSO CAME TO CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO FOR A MOMENT. IT IS MAINLY KNOWN FOR ITS BEAUTIFUL SPIRAL STAIRCASE. IT WAS THIS CAGE ADDED AT THE END OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY THAT LED TO THE NAME CONTARINI PALACE THE PALAZZO CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO (BOVOLO IN THE VENETIAN DIALECT MEANS “SNAIL”).
ADMISSION 7 € 00, PENSIONERS 6 € 00. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THOSE WHO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH GOING UP THE STAIRS. THERE ARE 5 HIGH FLOORS TO GO. THE VIEW FROM ABOVE IS REALLY INTERESTING, ALTHOUGH IN MY OPINION, NOT EXTRAORDINARY – ONE COULD SEE PRACTICALLY ONLY THE ROOFS AND A PIECE OF AN ALLEY AT THE FOOT OF THE PALACE. THERE ARE INTERESTING DESCRIPTIONS ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THIS PROPERTY AND SEVERAL IMAGES THAT CAN BE SEEN IN THE INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING. I THINK YOU CAN LET GO.

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