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Album: By Country | By Date Italy | January 2001 < Prev: We Love Venice! | Next: A Flood In Venice >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date Italy | January 2001  

January 2001 - Venice

The regatta of the witches, a walk around town, and a flood

The Regatta of the Befana - the participants are dressed like witches.  According to Italian tradition, the befana is the old woman who fills children's stockings with gifts on Epiphany (Twelfth Night). Here's one of the witches.  You can see her broom, upright in the front.  When I asked a gondolier how long the race would last, he said, "It depends on how many stay up.  They're pretty old guys." Witches rowing. Too busy to see the Three Wise Men on their journey to adore the Saviour, the befana said she would see them on their return. According to legend, they returned by another way, and she was doomed to look for them forever. Here comes the regatta
The witches hung a stocking from the Rialto Bridge and then handed out candy to the kids. Carnaval costumes in a shop window Gondola Venetian houses near Accademia
View down Grand Canal toward Santa Marie della Salute From Accademia Bridge Tour guide House
Friendly Venetian fellow (He looks like the waiters here) Building with traditional chimney shape A part of the creche in San Barnaba a canal
A house 11th - 13th Century molds on Church of the Carmini.  (Is that anything like "Crimini!"?) Stoplight on a canal.  Really.  You need to look closely. Campo
The top of the facade of San Rocco.  Saint Rocco spent his life caring for plague sufferers.  (If the picture were better, you could see bodies being carried off in the relief.)  When he returned home, he was so thin and looked so terrible that nobody recognized him. Instead they tossed him in the slammer.  Only his faithful dog kept him company.  That's why he is often represented with a small dog.  In 1485, his body was moved to Venice, and he became one of the protectors of the city.  (No word on whether he likes that job or not.) Venice Titian's Mary Ascending into Heaven on the altar of the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.  One of the few pieces of Venetian art worth preserving.  We went to see an organ and horn concert here.  The place was cold and damp.  There's a pipe organ behind the painting and a space heater blew hot air onto the performers and the painting.  It's amazing it has lasted from the 16th century.  This is also the church in which Titian is buried beneath a marble rendering of this painting.  The church also has a great tomb for one of the doges featuring bodies rising from the earth.  They look like you might imagine bodies rising from the ground might look.  Needless to say we liked them.