I got up early so I could take another quick walk around Florence before we had to leave for Venice. I found it hard to leave this beautiful city! I will be back – I promise! Once we got to Venice we took a waterbus to our hotel, taking us out of the Canal Grande to the Laguna Veneta. We had some lunch sitting on a patio on the lagoon and then I packed my film and my digital camera and we started walking through the maze of small streets of Venice. I have been to Venice many times before. Most of the time while I was in Fine Arts. I would take a night train from Switzerland to Venice, spend the day taking pictures and then take the night train back home again. Venice is a really inspiring city visually. We walked through the Cannaregio area to the Canal Grande and followed it to the Piazza San Marco with the beautiful Basilica San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). The breathtaking Byzantine Basilica (San Marco) looks like a picture from a fairytale. It was constructed in such an ornate matter to be a fitting resting place for St Mark and also as a sign of the Venetian Republic’s power. One of the basilica’s highlights is the stunning Western Facade with a succession of domes, columns, arched and spires, interspersed with marble statues, screens and glittering mosaics. Just out of this world!
We spent a big part of the afternoon at the Guggenheim museum. Peggy Guggenheim was an American art collector. Born to a wealthy New York City family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912 and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Peggy’s father was of Swiss-German Jewish origin, and her mother Jewish, German, and Dutch. By the early 1960s, Peggy Guggenheim had stopped collecting art and began to concentrate on presenting what she already owned. She loaned out her collection to museums throughout Europe and America. Eventually, she decided to donate her large home and her collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation on her death. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. Pieces in her collection embrace Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. Peggy lived in Venice until her death. She was laid to rest in the garden of her home, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Inside the Peggy Guggenheim Museum).
We spent the evening walking around to see different sites such as the Campo Santa Margherita, the Rialto Bridge and looking at beautiful Murano glass. We ended the night with a long water bus ride that took us from the Canal Grande to the Laguna Veneta, all the way around to the Canale di Fusina and the Canale della Giudecca back to Piazza San Marco. We walked around the Piazza, listened to an outdoor concert for a while and then started our walk across the city with another gelato in hand. Another great day in Italy!