Sunny Sunday

This was likely to be the last of the sunny days for a bit, so we headed out early, winding our way through twisting calles to to Palazzo Fortuny. I was really looking forward to this visit, and it did not disappoint. The last time we were inVenice, most of the Palazzo had been devoted to a Biennale exhibit which was wonderful, but there had only been a small fraction devoted to Fortuny. I’m a textile junkie, and have long loved Fortuny fabrics and clothing.

On the ground floor was a exhibit of work of Korean painter Yun Hyong Keun. His life and work was largely influenced by the upheavals and trauma of Korean history–Japanese occupation, Korean War, dictatorships. He was imprisoned several times, and turned to art after teaching. His work is stark, but looking closely one sees texture, movement, and layers within the deep colors.

Walking upstairs, you enter a huge room exploding with objects, artwork, and textiles exploring the people and items which influenced Fortuny. I knew his textile work but was less familiar with his painting and photography. The exhibit showcases the work of both Mariano Fortuny and his father, a Spanish painter. Opulent doesn’t even begin to describe it.

I adored everything, it was such a feast for the eyes. Up on the top floor were examples of Fortuny’s works in progress, sketches, and wood blocks used for fabric printing. I had to be dragged out of there. And now I really want a Fortuny lamp.

We had spent so much time in the Palazzo it was now lunchtime. We walked over to Dorsoduro, fighting the crowds taking selfies on the Accademia bridge. I will admit to slamming into young men wearing huge backpacks. and stopping to take photos.

On our first Venice trip almost 20 years ago we had loved the simple restaurant Ai Cugnai, which had been run by a pair of elderly sisters. The ladies are long gone, but it remains in the family and still serves solid, traditional Venetian food at fair prices. It was mobbed, but we somehow scored a table, I strongly suspect because Larry spoke Italian. Two very good plates of pasta, I had a fish lasagne and Larry spaghetti with shrimp and tomato. And the gondoliers still eat here.

Since it was still so nice out, we walked over to Zatarre to take a vap to Giudecca. Ooh, there’s one of the Boche de Leon, “lion Mouths” where people could put letters denouncing others who might be opposing the Dodges or Venetian nobles.

The Venice Marathon was still going on, with very hot and tired looking runners still coming in. I was glad Philippa and Jonathan had done the earlier 10 k, and were already home resting.

We got off at San Giorgio, and went into the church to take the elevator up into the bell tower. Fabulous views down, including on to the pontoon bridge for runners connecting Salute to San Marco. I’m intrigued by the maze and cloister to the south, and a bit of research shows that tours can be booked through the church, now on my to do list.

Next was the Stanze del Veitro, a small contemporary glass museum. The current exhibit of works of Thomas Sterns was enjoyable but didn’t thrill except for the last room; but I loved the huge Pae White sculpture in the garden.

Vap back across to San Marco, dodging the crowds to get to the quieter streets. We stopped first at Campo Giovanni e Paolo, sitting in a cafe with aperitivi, watching kids run around the ancient wellhead.

Back home, I found ricotta and radicchio in the fridge, and googled for recipes using them. Pasta with radicchio, walnuts and ricotta by Nancy Silverman, score. Quick trip to the Coop, and I threw together the pasta and a salad. Delicious and fast, a definite do again. A two pasta day, good thing I’d walked across Venice twice today.

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