In earlier times I wouldn’t have posted these images. I would have selected just one Image of that Day and probably added a few others, and if I think of it, all the images would almost certainly have been of the Abbey of Silvacane.
In fact until a few days ago, I didn’t even bother to process these images. And then, when I pondered about what to write in the next posts, I realized that the story of that day is incomplete without them. Therefore: here they are.
This is kind of a storage lake near the Abbey of Silvacane. We took a different road on the way back to Aix-en-Provence, and while we had only had a glimpse of the “lake” on our way out, we saw it fully now. It looked … strange. There was kind of a big swimming lane on the side. I had no idea what it was until I saw the sign: The Canal de Marseille, formerly the only water supply of that big city, today still a major source of water. We have something like that in Vienna, leading down from the Alps, but I didn’t expect it here.
Anyway. It’s beautiful, but whatever you want to do there, it’s forbidden 🙂
As I said in the last post, today Venice is less oriented towards its canals, and that’s for a reason: Fewer and fewer people actually live there.
Venice has lost all its political power in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. It fell to Austria, and although Austria soon lost it to the newly formed Italian state, this state was ruled by a Piedmontese dynasty. The center of Italy’s political power shifted to Turin, Florence and finally Rome.
Of course Venice was still rich, had a peculiar architectural style and was full of the finest pieces of art, yes was a piece of art itself, and thus it became one of Italy’s most important tourist attractions. Over time though the rich people began to move elsewhere, following the power, leaving their palaces as museums and hotels.
While tourists still use boats, it’s mostly the big bus boats, the Vaporetti. Those are much too big for the many small canals, and that frequently renders the former main entrances useless. Life has shifted from the canals to the small squares again, and at night, when most tourists have left, Venice is almost empty, only a ghost of its former self.
The Song of the Day is the Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover “Otherside” by Ben L’Oncle Soul. I have it as track four of the German edition of his self-titled 2010 album. It’s not on the US version that I link to, but at least you can hear it on YouTube.
This is typically Venetian architecture. I suppose you can’t call it a palace, but it was (and is) undeniably the residence of a wealthy person. Today the front entrance facing the canal will only occasionally be opened, in those rare cases when the boat is used. Times have changed.
The Song of the Day, “Behind Closed Doors” from Dolly Parton’s 1996 album “Treasures”, has already been used in “1162 – Behind Closed Doors“, but that’s fine for me. Hope you don’t mind either 🙂
Sorry for that, but I just had to bother you once again with Venetian gondole.
They are everywhere and, yes, it’s kitsch, but sometimes kitsch is OK. At least it’s very original kitsch 😀
When I began processing these images, I asked myself, what will I take images of when I am the next time in Venice? Still gondole? Won’t I get tired of them? Won’t you?
But then it occurred to me that I have taken images of cars and bicycles for years. Few have complained, some seem to like it and I did certainly not grow tired of them. As with everything, there’s certainly more than one way to photograph a gondola.
One more time the Song of the Day is “Corso Delle Gondole” from the 1987 Rondò Veneziano album “Misteriosa Venezia”. Hear it on YouTube.
OK, taking a gondola, that’s one of the things that I’ve never tried. Many tourists do, and perhaps it is not such a bad idea at all. Going by boat, that’s what traffic in Venice always meant and that’s what the houses are built for.
Venetian houses and palaces, warehouses and stores, they all had their main entrance at the water side.
That’s where important guests arrived, that’s how goods were delivered. Thus, as much cliché as it is, taking a gondola may well be the most correct way to experience this city of marvels.
The Song of the Day is “Corso Delle Gondole” from the 1987 Rondò Veneziano album “Misteriosa Venezia”. Hear it on YouTube.
Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, only second to Rome, probably rivaled by Florence and Naples, but visiting Italy and not going to Venice, that’s unthinkable.
Obviously Venice is crammed with organized groups, but that does not hurt at all. Just leave the tourist paths, go a few steps to one of the tiny bridges that are everywhere, and suddenly Venice is silent.
And that’s the best way to enjoy any famous city: Don’t search, let your eyes and feet wander, drift along and beauty will find you.
OK, I’m cheating. I’ve spent quite some time in Venice, I’ve read a lot of books about its history and architecture, I’ve seen the sights, I’ve been to all the famous places, but still, what makes me glad is drifting along 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Viaggi Organizzati” by Lucio Dalla. Hear it on YouTube.
I didn’t make any photos today. Instead of taking the car back to Carinthia, leaving it there and taking the train to Vienna, I drove to Vienna directly. It’s not much of a difference, and that way I escaped the snow front coming up from the south.
The image is another one taken yesterday. I guess it would have looked better today, amid the falling snow, but I was eager to leave, worrying about road conditions.
The Song of the Day is “Caught Between” from Brian Eno’s 2005 masterpiece “Another Day on Earth”. Hear it on YouTube.
Here are two more images from Aquileia, down in sweet Italy, It’s not far from home and it’s almost by the sea.
In fact once, in Roman times, it was, but since then the big northern Italian river, the Po, has deposited enough sand to cut Aquileia off. There’s still a yacht harbor though, connected with the Mediterranean by canals.
Yesterday’s trip to Aquileia was my first outing with the complete kit, consisting of the Olympus E-P2, the 14/2.5, 20/1.7, 45/1.8 and the 40-150. I’ve bought a small Sony shoulder bag that can take all five pieces, at least as long as I have one of the pancakes mounted and the EVF taken off. Pretty convenient, about 1 kg of weight and no size.
On that short trip I have made use of all four lenses, at least one of the images taken with the 14/2.8 will follow soon.
The Song of the Day is “The Canals Of Our City” from the 2006 Beirut album “Gulag Orkestar”. Amazing how well this music fits into an Italian setting. Hear it on YouTube.
It’s Sunday night, already past midnight. I am still in Carinthia because we were in Graz today, about 150 km from Villach, capital of the neighboring province of Styria. We were there for a concert and scenic interpretation of Claudio Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals. The “Combattimento” performed live, how much better can it get? Needless to say, it was fantastic.
There’s nothing new on the photography front. I made some images, though I have not even copied them from the camera yet. Maybe I would have had something anyway, but here is one more image from Italy instead.
The funny thing is, during post-processing I did something that I normally don’t do: I deliberately introduced an error. This image is not real. It can’t be. No, it’s not the processing style, of course the colors, the local contrasts, the partial blur, all that are not “real”, but then what is? No, I mean something else. Can you see it?
But then, even though I broke the laws of physics, this image looks exactly like what I remember. In fact it does much more so than all the images that I took in this district of Rapallo.
The Song of the Day is “I May Be Wrong” by Chick Webb and his Orchestra. I have it on Disc 132 of “The Ultimate Jazz Archive”. Hear it on YouTube.