|Glass objects reflected in a glass case in the glass|
capital of Murano, Italy.
Even with the 12 hour pass we were routinely kicked off the bus at the end of each run, had to get off, re-run the card on the reader and re-board to continue. I'm sure tourists take advantage of the distances the buses run and go all over for the price of one trip ticket if they can get away with it. We rode all day without our pass ever being checked but on the last trip which was at night, two women in uniforms, with meters, boarded our bus to verify the passes were legitimate. Had they expired, we would have had to pay a 56 Euro fine. The ticket for 12 hours is only 19 Euros.
The past week has been cold, but Saturday it actually snowed a little and boats in Murano had snow on their canvas tops. We weren't quite prepared to be this cold. Fortunately most shops have some heat and certainly museums and restaurants do. We noticed a lot of places in Murano were just shut up, closed for the winter. Not so in Venice, but I wouldn't be surprised if many close after Christmas for a few months until it warms up and the new crop of tourists arrive.
|A public sculpture in Murano|
We rode up and down the Grand Canal of Venice on the bus-boats just to see the palaces, government buildings, and gorgeous hotels that are all but invisible from the street side where their facades fade into a cacophony of shops. Many buildings are in worse shape than I expected. Blackened fungal growth covers the stone blocks, weathered wooden doors are rotted at the bottom, wrought iron gates are disintegrating where they've rusted, buildings are covered in graffiti, and some windows were never replaced but boarded up to keep out invaders. However, some have been restored to, and even surpass, their original splendor. White marble exteriors glisten in the sunlight. At night, Christmas decorations of Murano sculptures hanging from high ceilings light up the golden interiors, creating a sumptuous repast of visual gluttony. We gorged ourselves on that feast, passed the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and got off at the next stop to see a church and then her art collection. What a contrast that was! Modern art and artists: Calder, Picasso, Max Ernst, Klee, Pollack, Agnes Martin, Kandinsky, Chagall, Dali, Miro, Giacometti, and others; some of the pieces touching and brilliant, much of it not understandable. Then we rode the water-bus back up the Grand Canal in the darkness to see the palaces again, now dressed in their evening clothes.
|Gondola under the Rialto Bridge on a cold windy day.|
|The Leonardo da Vinci Museum with many|
working models from his great mind
|The Archimedes Screw, a device that captures|
water and raises it to a higher level.
And it works!!