July 12, 2009
Today was devoted to Tintoretto and Doges' tombs. We went to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Basilica di Santi Giovani e Paolo (called Zanipolo here). We had beautiful weather again today although the Venetians are calling it African heat. Obviously they haven't lived in central Illinois in the summer, although I hear it is unually cool there right now.
San Rocco was great. They have an audioguide so we were walked through all of the paintings and there are a lot of them. You start with a fairly long introduction and information about Tintoretto and then go up to the Albergo Hall, which is a small room room, work your way through the Great Upper Hall and finish up with the ground floor where there was also an exhibit on the restoration work being done on the painting and one of pottery and china. Some of the pottery and tiles from medieval Persia and Moorish Spain were really wonderful. There were also some interesting pieces of early majolica.
Afterwards we walked to the Internet pont and then had lunch nearby. We split a mixed salad and an order of gnochetti with frutti di mare that was very good. This was after one of the waiters knocked over a table breaking a full bottle of olive oil as well as some glasses. We seem to be at the scene of a lot of restaurant accidents lately. This one was much worse than the one yesterday with olive oil and glass everywhere. The waiters were upset. And then one of the patrons left his or her credit card and the waiter went running after but it was too late.
Having thoroughly enjoyed our meal, we went on to Santi Giovani e Paolo. There is a good gelateria in the campo so we had gelato first, then spent a long time in the church. Many of the doges are buried there. In terms of relics, of major importance is the reliquary with the feet of Saint Catherine of Siena. There is also another altar dedicated to her with St. Thomas Aquinas. They have several pictures by Veronese and a very dark Lorenzo Lotto that you can barely make out. There is a piece attributed to Giovanni Bellini that is now thought not to be by him. The portale is partly by Barolomeo Bon, a famous Venetian architect. It is just an amazing place to spend time in, especially in terms of the important political figures buried there as well as the art. The leaflet they five you doesn't begin to list all of the art and tombs inside the church.
Our one disappointment was that the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni is not open on Sunday so we could not see the Carpaccios. I am not sure whether we will have time to go on this trip. Our afternoon will be pretty full with the cultural program of the school.
We walked home by way of Piazza San Marco, Campo San Stefano, Accademia Bridge and Campo San Barnaba. We are getting pretty good at finding our way on different routes with minimal use of our maps. After we got back I took some more pictures and we did some reading. Dinner was pasta and salad for Peter and meat, vegetables and salad for me. The cooking is still minimal but I am trying for a little variety.
Ieri, siamo andati a San Giorgio. Oggi, siamo andati alla Scuola di San Rocco e al Basilico di Santi Giovane e Paul. Domani, ancora saremo dei studenti.