The month with Angelina flew by, and I had a great time doing her journal. This was my first time doing a fake journal, and I'm happy that I was able to do a page a day like I planned.
I was surprised that it was as much work as it was. I used my own photo references for all the sketches, and I know I have to organize them much better than they are. The problem is that with the digital photos I store them on CDs and they are listed by number. On my computer I can't see them as icons, so every time I wanted a particular photo I had to really search for it on all the CDS. I was longing for the days when I had photos printed of everything. I did get smarter as I went along and made a file on my desktop and when I viewed the CDs I would transfer ones that I thought I might use, and labeled each one. I'm glad I had my diaries and paintings from my trips to Venice to look back at, as well as the guidebooks I kept. They were really helpful for the text part of the journal. It was fun to use some of the photos that I know I wouldn't use for a regular watercolor painting to do the sketches, like the cemetery and the delivery men. With the digital camera I take photos of everything I see.
I would definitely like to try doing a fake journal again next year. Maybe I'll resurrect Angelina, or maybe I'll do something completely different. My thanks to my sister, Michelle, for telling me about the fake journals, and to Roz for starting the International Fake Journal Month. I've really enjoyed viewing all the blogs that people submitted.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sat., April 30, 2011 - Burano
Today is Roz's last day in Venice and she wanted to shop in Burano for some of their world famous lace. So we went there together.
I left her at the shops and wandered around the colorful streets of Burano. Wouldn't you like to live in a bright purple building? I would! I like the striped sunshades too.
There's Roz under the umbrella at my favorite seafood restaurant in Burano. Of course she's sketching while she's waiting for me. It will be hard for her to say, "Arrividerci." Maybe she will come back.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Fri., April 29, 2011 - Cimitero
Most vaporetti that travel between Venice and Murano stop at cimitero, the cemetery island. The cemetery dates back to 1806 when Napoleon had the bodies removed from the town to this island for hygienic reasons.
Bodies are buried there mostly above ground. Most Venetian families have large burial areas with carvings, portraits, statues, and photos honoring loved ones. I find it an interesting place to wander around. There is a Renaissance church dedicated to Saint Michael on the island.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thurs., April 28, 2011
Being such a romantic city, you expect to see brides and grooms in Venice, and you won't be disappointed. Today I saw this bride posing in her wedding gown on one of the bridges.
Can you imagine having a Venetian canal as the backdrop for your wedding pictures? Surely there is no better place to say, "Ti amo!"
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wed., April 27, 2011
Venetians love flowers, and you will see them growing on balconies and terraces all over the city. Several days a week there is a flower vendor at the Rialto Market selling beautiful cut flowers.
Many of the squares around Venice have flower stalls or flower vendors too. At night if you are sitting at a table listening to the orchestra, several vendors will come over selling roses.
(Please note that I have uploaded Angelina's page for yesterday too.)
Tues., April 26, 2011
My friend, Daniela, is the lead violinist in one of the orchestras in San Marco Square. She is from Romania and plays there with a group of musicians.
The orchestras play from about noon until midnight, alternating about every 10 minutes. It is a hard job!
A perfect evening is sitting at one of the cafes in the square, sipping a glass of wine under the stars, and listening to the sounds played by the wonderful musicians. They can play almost anything you want. What song should I request?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Mon., April 25, 2011
Today is Festa di San Marco, the feast day of the patron saint of Venice.
It is also called "Festa del Bocolo," and I just love how it is celebrated. Men are supposed to give their loved ones a red rose (the "bocolo" or blossom). How romantic!
There is also a gondolier's regatta as part of the city's celebration.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sun., April 24, 2011
The Italian word for Easter is "Pasqua" and it is a big holiday in Venice. The local stores sell wonderful, delicious chocolate eggs in fancy wrappers. They are hollow and have a special prize inside. Would you like one?
Many families gather at home for a tradiational Italian dinner of artichokes. roasted lamb, and a special sweet bread called "Colomba" which means dove and is shaped like a dove. Others dine out with family and friends at local restaurants like Trattoria da Georgio where I'm meeting my friends Lucia and Stephan for lunch. Arrivederci!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Sat., April 23, 2011 - Santa Elena
Another quiet spot in Venice is Santa Elena. Here is the residential, non-touristy side of Venice. There is a large park, a few restaurants, and beautiful sunsets over San Marco.
There is more space for kids to play in Santa Elena, so it is very common to see kids playing soccer, the favorite Italian sport, in the squares. Watch Nico control the soccer ball. I bet he can score!
(I have done 2 posts today. Don't forget to read the one below.)
April 22, 2011 - Travel in Venice
I'll bet you picture gondolas when you think about transportation in Venice. But most people in Venice travel on the vaporetti which are like Venice's buses. There are docks on either side of the canal and the vaporetti alternate first on one side and then on the other. Be careful not to miss your stop! I have a pass and travel that way all the time.
There are also boats that look like gondolas called traghetti. These boats travel straight across the Grand Canal at set locations and are a quick, cheap way to go. Most people stand up for the ride across because it is such a quick trip. I have no sense of balance, so I like to sit down. Ciao!!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thurs., April 21, 2011 FARO
If you journey to Murano you can't miss its striped lighthouse (faro). In the past centuries, the faro guided boats from the open sea into Venice. Today it stands proudly and is a favorite photo stop for tourists. Care to take a photo?
Everyone knows that Murano is famous for...you guessed it, MURANO GLASS!! Back in 1292 a law was passed that limited glass production (and its dangerous furnaces) to the island of Murano. Today you can visit the factories and see glassblowing demos before you make a purchase...or not. There are a lot of choices!
Away from the stores and factories are some quiet neighborhoods filled with Venetian families like your own. I like to stroll around there. Want to join me?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tues., April 19, 2011 - San Erasmo
Most visitors to Venice never travel to the quiet island of San Erasmo. This is out in the Venetian loagoon and is where most of the produce sold in Venice is grown.
There is a lot of farmland and vineyards, but not many people. It is a perfect place to ride bikes, and they rent them at the first vaporetto stop on the island. If you get off at the second stop, you can visit La Chiesa di San Erasmo. It is a small church. Don't you love the carvings on the doors? Roz was on the vaporetto going to San Erasmo. Looks like she is curious to see what is inside the church looks like.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
April 18, 2011
Deliveries in Venice are no easy task. Most items are delivered in the morning before the crowds block the narrow streets and bridges of the city.
Everything starts out being transported to the nearest location by boat. But then it needs to be moved from the canal to the final destination. Usually that is done by hand trucks. Watching the delivery men negotiate the hand trucks up and down the steps, and across the bridges...is sometimes like watching a dance. It takes strength, precision, and careful balance.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sun., April 17, 2011
Today we'll stop to see the Bridge of Sighs. According to romantic legends criminals were tried in the Doge's Palace on the left. Then they were taken across the covered bridge. As they crossed they got their last look at Venice before reaching the prison on the right. They would see the sky, the water, and the lovely buildings and sigh.
Today this is a popular spot and the bridge in front of it is always crowded as people stop to look up.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Sat., April 16, 2011
Doing laundry in Venice and elsewhere in Italy usually involves fresh air. Most people have washing machines, but often do not have dryers...like me. The laundry is hung on clotheslines outdoors or on racks inside.
Today is my laundry day. I don't mind not having a dryer except for sheets and towels. If you can't hang the sheets outside, there is no space large enough to dry them inside...and towels just take to long. I guess I'm spoiled.
Time to get busy...
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Fri., April 15, 2011
Santa Maria della Salute is my destination today. It graces Venice's skyline with its steep dome and white stone front. It is one of Venice's most recognizable landmarks.
La Salute is a beautiful church, simple but elegant, and one of my favorites. Inside are several paintings by Titan and one by Tintoretto.
The story about the church is also impressive It was built to honor the Virgin Mary for saving the city from the plague in 1630.
Every year on Nov. 11 a floating bridge is build across the Grand Canal and Venetians can walk from San Marco across the water right up the steps at the front door of La Salute. It is quite a sight!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thurs., April 14,2011
How do you start your morning? Here in Venice most people grab an expresso or cappuccino and a roll or pastry. Most have their breakfast standing at the counter of a bar.
But find an empty table in San Marco Square, and you can relax with your caffe' while you peacefully read your newspaper. Enjoy your quiet time.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
April 13, 2011One of my favorite places for an evening's entertainment is Enoteca La Valigia where I went last night. Silvio, the owner is behind the counter pouring us a drink. The food is great and there are live bands on Tuesday and Thursday. It is a tiny place, but Silvio squeezes the band and the customers in. The bands play a mix of rock, blues, country, and Italian favorites. The walls and ceiling are filled with local art.
I don't think it is possible to have a bad time. Sing along to the music with everyone, Silvio included.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tues., April 12, 2011
Today the Rialto Fish Market is open and I'm headed there. You should see the wild assortment of seafood on display. You would think that it would smell, but it doesn't! That's because it is so fresh...right off the boat.
I'm looking for some gamberetti for lunch and maybe a branzini for dinner. How does that sound? You can watch them slice up a large fish, see some unusual sea creatures, and find just about any kind of seafood.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Mon., April 11, 2011
A gondola ride is a must for your first time in Venice. Yes, it's pricey but it's worth it. I was lucky to have a gondolier who told stories, sang, and worked for his money.
You can ride along the Grand Canal or the smaller interior canals. Sip some champagne and buon viaggio!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sun., April 10, 2011
One of Venice's loveliest views is the one of San Giorgio Maggiore across the lagoon. If you get up early enough, see it at sunrise. The colors are usually soft and beautiful. making the buildings glow.
You can hop on vaporetto #2 and cross over to the island. On Sunday the church is closed to sightseers during mass, but don't worry it is open now. Inside is one of Tintoretto's versions of the "Last Supper" as well as his "Manna from Heaven." There is a nice cafe by the marina. I'm ready for a snack.
Sat., April 9, 2011
After my party last night I am tired and off to a slow start this morning. All I want to do is sip my warm cappuccino and gaze at the view from my kitchen window.
It is quiet this morning and the tourists aren't roaming around yet. You can tell because there are no people on the bridge and no gondolas on the canal.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Bellini Party - April 8, 2011
Buona Serra! Tonight some friends are coming over for cocktails. Did you know that Venice is the birthplace of the Bellini Cocktail? It was first served at Harry's Bar here in Venice in 1943. It was created to honor Giovani Bellini, the painter, by Giuseppi Cipriani.
Try one..cin cin!
My guests have all arrived except Roz. Mi scusi, I see her peeking around the front door now.
Finally the party can begin.
2/3 cup white peach puree
1 teaspoon raspberry puree
l bottle chilled Italian Prosecco
Serve in tall champagne flutes.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thurs., April 7, 2011
Some of you may be wondering what I do for a living here in Vencie. Well, I give tours of Venice and conduct travel journaling classes for English speaking tourists.
Here are tqo of the students in my journaling class this week. Roz and Joan were with a small group of artists here this week. Both are so talented that they could have given the class. We sketched all over Burano today. Wouldn't you enjoy a class like that?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wed., April 6, 2011
Bird's Eye View
Many people like the view from the top of the Campanille (bell tower) di San Marco, but I think it is too crowded. Andiamo! I prefer to go across the lagoon and take the elevator to the top of San Giorgio Maggiore.
You can see 360 degrees and on a clear day I swear you can see the mountains in the distance and the best view of Saint Mark's Square.
My first time up there, I made the mistake of getting to the top just before noon. I think my ears are still ringing from the bells!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tues., April 5, 2011
Venice has more than 400 bridges, but the Rialto Bridge, built in 1588, is the most famous. It spans the Grand Canal. Shops and tourists line the bridge from end to end.
Gondolas, water taxis, vaporetti, and pleasure boats pass under it. It is very impressive during the day, but I think it is romantic and dramatic in the evening when it is lit and surrounded by the many tables filled with diners. A little music from a passing singing gondolier...and the mood is set for amore!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Mon., April 4
Masks are sold in shops everywhere in Venice. In some shops, like the Tragicomica Mask Shop, you can watch the artists create the maskes.
Many masks are bought by tourists, and many more are used for Venice's most famous festival, Carnevale. This year Carnevale took place from Feb. 19 to March 8. It is like a Mardi Gras celebration before the start of Lent.
All over Venice there are costumed plays, parties, balls, etc. It is one big fun celebration! Come join us next year.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sun., April 3, 2011
Lets travel along the Grand Canal. Some of the buildings have lovely sitting areas outside. you can only see them from the water of course! Always, there is a dock in case you or your guests want to arrive or leave by boat. Venetians love to be on the water. What about you?
Sat., April 2, 2011
Come and see where I live. Many apartments here are small. I live on the 2nd floor (piano) which is really 3 floors up. Usually there is storage on the first floor. There is no elevator, so it pays to be in good shape for the climb. That is my balcony with the two doors and all the plants and flowers. I like to have some herbs growing to use in cooking, especially for the caprese salad I love so much! Do you want to come up for a glass of vino?
"Angelina's Life in Venice" is being done for the International Fake Journal Month. http://officialinternationalfakejournalblog.blogspot.com/ Please check out this link for additional information about the International Fake Journals.
My alter ego, Angelina, lives in Venice, Italy. She will be posting regularly about her life there. Please follow her.
My alter ego, Angelina, lives in Venice, Italy. She will be posting regularly about her life there. Please follow her.