Tag Archives: venice

A Rower’s Redentore

It’s a whole different Redentore at water level, in the area designated for row boats only, just in front of the exclusive (and expensive) private party along the fondamenta at the Punta della Dogana.

The moon was full and the weather ideal — more like May than July. Music from decadent disco barges each completing to have its entertainment reign supreme wafted across the water, while we picnicked on a combination of traditional and contemporary dishes in boats decorated with frasche fresche (fresh branches) and multicolored lanterns that grew brighter as the sky darkened. About dessert time, kayakers began to appear like floating firecracking-seeking fireflies, their headlamps flashing as they bobbed about among the mass of anchored craft. Gondole threaded their way among boats of all sizes seeking the ideal spot from which to view the upcoming pyrotechnics (though it’s hard to find a bad one).

These photos are hardly tack-sharp, a difficult thing to attain from atop one floating vessel shooting more of the same — but you’ll get the idea. It was truly a spectacular display (with plenty of red, white and green this year, to commemorate Italy’s 150th anniversary) from sequences of more subtle pah-pah-pah-pah-pop cannon shots that seem to race along the canal’s edge, to a canopies of explosions that seemed to span the entire night sky, campanile to campanile, riva to riva. It went something like this…

Venice Redentore 2011 – Images by Nan McElroy

And for a truly spectacular video perspective, see


private fish painting in sottoportego

My Own Private Biennale

private fish painting in sottoportegoI’d heard or read somewhere that, perhaps inspired by the arrival of the Biennale, temporary paintings had begun springing up around town, created on paper canvas applied to walls, washing away easily with the rain. I hadn’t run into any though, until one appeared on my doorstep — literally.

Whoever painted this big, red, spotted fish was quite furbo, applying this canvas underneath the sottoportego so that it would remain protected and thus last longer. The paper has shredded and dissolved a bit at the bottom as motor boat waves at high tide slosh the lagoon water over the border, but if you ask me that just contributes to the overall effect that this fish monster is surging right up from the rio. Red spots sling off the fish’s nose onto the canvas above him. I think it’s divine.

I’m greeted by this ichthyic apparition every time I leave the house. È fantastico, and one of those unexpected things, the fact of which makes you become even more attached to this absurd city. And that this clever artist chose my sottoportego? What a coup…


UPDATE: Yvonne from Australia pointed out that this is the work of the same Papiers Peintres that create the papery frames around town (there’s one along the fondamente San Felice and another down from the Madonna dell’Orto). If you stand in the middle, have someone snap your photo, then send it to them — the address is on the frame — they’ll post it on their site. Explore their site, there are images, youtube videos, and more.

Come onde, sulle onde: Experimental waves to wash over the bacino

Onde sulle Onde, or Waves upon Waves, is a public scientific experiment to be held at 9pm on Friday, June 24, in the Piazza San Marco…

…and we’re all invided.

For the first time in since Guglielmo Marconi (1895), radio waves derived from new physical applications — and discovered by the Venetian astrophysicist Fabrizio Tamburini in collaboration with his Swedish colleague Bo Thidé — will be generated and transmitted from the top of San Giorgio bell tower the Palazzo Ducale, where they will take audio and visual form. Of what type remains to be seen — a surprise, to be sure!

These radio signals pertain to properties identified by Tamburini regarding the physical principle of the orbital angular momentum of light, which allows one single bandwidth to carry an extremely high number of frequencies thereby increasing the potential for telecommunications, as well as resolution power for microscopes and telescopes. These are applications that have already been scientifically ascertained and lab-tested and which, in the near future, could represent a small leap forward in a number various fields (telecommunications, physics, astronomy, medicine, etc.) — and for humanity as a whole.

It’s a particular point of pride that Tamburini is both Venetian and maintains residency here in the city. The sponsors of the event are hoping that Venice, with this public experiment propagated throughout the world and taking place in the presence of leading international scientists — some of whom are part of the Nobel Prize Committee — will help reestablish Venice’s role in the development of scientific and technological innovation.

So head for the San Marco Molo at the water’s edge on Friday to see just what sort of onde wave over the bacino…hard to imagine science taking a more delightful form that this.

Biennale Bites – recap, Day 3

The last preview day was Friday, and the air was considerably more relaxed. Took in more both at the Giardini and in the Arsenale…and managed to catch Best Artist Golden Lion winner Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” before running to a author preview at the new cafe at the Serra greenhouse. Basta for now, although there is much more to see of the Biennale and other shows running concurrently — including the one at the Fortuny that a friend described as the best she’s ever seen there — now that’s saying a lot.

The 54th Biennale opened to the public as of June 4th and will be around until the 27th of November — plenty of time even for off-season travelers. Outside the official venues there are free exhibitions sprinkled throughout palaces, scuole, ex-churches, hotels and businesses in Venice — you can’t help but run into them.

Although art pros from critics to collectors to curators will have lots to say about the composition and creation of this year’s Biennale, there’s something for everyone — see for yourself until November 27.


News on the Rialto Fish Market’s Future

Situation not as dramatic as first reports indicated — meno male (whew).

According to a February 6 article in La Nuova Venezia (here concisely translated), there was copious finger pointing between the City and Port on speculative news of the transfer of the Tronchetto wholesale fish market to Fusina — infuriating operators of the Rialto Fish Market  who announced a mobilization against the move that has also led to political controversy. Both ensure that nothing has been decided, however.

“The Port has submitted a proposal for a new market in Fusina” says commissioner of Commerce Carla Rey, “but that will be evaluated very carefully.”

Rey says that the Port Authority was responding to a request by the Comune, and which is now an official project to study the possibility of establishing a mainland market with a more convenient and modern facilities, on property held by the Comune to develop the Fusina port.

“The main objective of this study,” she continues, “is that 90% of the fish market sales are stocked from land and serve land-based markets, so a relocation would first support the expansion of the market and the growth trend in recent years, and second, reduce traffic on the Ponte della Libertà [the causeway across the lagoon into the city].”

The Port, however, insists that it “did not initiate the eviction of any activity in the area [of Tronchetto] nor that of the [Rialto] Fish Market. They are considering further expansion of the port and docks area, although nothing in the area now occupied by the Fish Market. In any case, the Port Authority is not carrying out and does not intend to pursue any project without the agreement, as required by law, of the city administration. “

In the meantime Venice citizens started an online petition against the possible closure of the Rialto fish market which – according to proponents – could be a by-product of the wholesale market relocation to the mainland.

[I signed it. Non si sa mai, You never know…]

(For the original article in Italian see Feb 6, La Nuova Venezia, E.Tantucci)