Venice: a cornucopia of architectural delights and sensory overload..
we arrived in the evening, our introduction a water taxi ride along the Grand Canal...
Nothing really prepared us for the astonishing array of palaces lining the waterways, a collection of antique, slightly decayed, wonders..
culminating in the Doge's palace, 3 doors along from our hotel.
Beautiful St Mark's Basilica, unfortunately (for us) partially shrouded for restoration.
Inside: photography forbidden, but so many people ignored this, that at the end I did a couple of quick ones as we left the building.
Gold mosaics, breathtaking... astonishing...
An elegant relief sits above an arch at the back of our hotel..
right by a bar and several trattoria..
Detail of a beautiful Bellini, in a church about 20 metres from our door..
An ancient water fountain runs day and night outside our window:
modern tourists fill their water bottles..
The winged lion of St Mark, patron saint of Venice..
We walk and walk, along the alleys and canal paths..
and found our way to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection,
a chic array of early and mid 20th century abstract and surrealist art:
and on to the Academie and back to Tintoretto and Giordano..
We enjoyed a concert at Ateneo di San Basso:
Vivaldi, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini - what bliss!
There are far too many tourists, many of them Australians..
there are gypsies and pedlars, beggars and thieves, touts and rogues..
and I have fallen in love with this intriguing, fascinating and sumptuously gorgeous city.