Saturday, March 31, 2012


(click on images to enlarge)
Italy Out of Hand by Barbara Hodgson

This is my kinda book....full of illustrations and quirky stories and tidbits of's a blast.
It does cover all of Italy...
just don't want you Veneziaphiles to go nuts when you realize that she

hits the rest of the boot!

The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
"As their holiday unfolds, Colin and Maria are locked into their own intimacy.
They groom themselves meticulously, as though there awaits someone who cares deeply about how they
When they meet a man with a disturbing story to tell they become drawn into
a fantasy of violence and obsession."
This is a wild, dark and intriguing read....
I loved it...
but I do tend to like the dark side of things.

It was made into a movie...starring: Helen Mirren, Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett and Nathasha Richardson.
It is fabulous...if you like a dark and haunting film.......and the cast?


The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
From the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil. "Berendt brings the same magic, mystery and decadence when writing about Venice. The City of Falling Angels opens on the evening of January 29th, 1996, when a dramatic fire destroys the historic opera house La Fenice. Arriving three days after the fire, Berendt becomes a kind of detective, inquiring into the nature of life in this remarkable city, while gradually revealing the truth about the fire."

Along the way he introduces us to a variety of Venetian characters...
American ex-pat that loses the family palazzo after four generations of ownership....
A prominent Venetian poet that commits suicide.....
a master glassblower......
a group of high-society Americans that raise money to preserve the art and architecture of Venice, all the while quarreling in public.

This is a side of Venice that I will only glimpse....(not sure I'd really want to participate

Rilke's Venice by Brigit Haustedt
translated by Stephen Brown

"Even more than reading, Rilke loved to walk. He was a passionate walker. Stefan Zweig, who often walked with him in Paris, went so far to say that 'knowing every last corner and depth of a city was his passion, almost the only one I ever perceived in him'.
This was equally true in Venice.
Rilke roamed the city for days on end, sometimes by gondola, but mostly by foot. 'My reading ended up being no use at all on this last visit - the best thing was that, with the help of my new topographical education, I for the first time grasped the whole breadth of the city, from San Alvise to San Pietro di Castello.' "

Just a little note: I've been having a blast reading this book. The author actually gives us specific details about's fun tracking them down on maps....can't wait to really spend time in Venice exploring these places!

My Venice by Harold Brodkey....Photos by Guiseppe Bruno

"Venice is a separate country.
It floats at anchor inside its own will,
among its domes and campanili,
independent and exotic at its heart.
a collection of structures among the waters,
momuments of independent will,
a city of independent will."

Lovely and reflective....a tribute to our charming lady.

Secret Venice by Thomas Jonglez & Paola Zoffoli

With book in hand, discover tiny hidden gems scattered throughout Venezia.
Kinda like going on a scavenger hunt.
I read it at home and couldn't wait to hit the calli in search of these secrets.

Watermark by Joseph Brodsky

This short and sweet book consists of 48 short chapters of essays & prose...a little poetic gem.
I felt as if I were along on a night-time vaporetto ride.

Books...books and more books about Venice or set in Venice.
Sigh...if I can't always be IN Venice at least I can read about Venice...right?
I started to go thru all my books about Venice....holy night...I must have over a hundred.
So I'll post them in segments.

(ps...if you want to see all the books I've on the LABELS: Books link on the lower left)

Travel Diaries........

(click on images to enlarge)

For years I collected journals...always with the intention of using them.
I must have had two dozen of them....always waiting to be used.
I have to admit, they intimidated me.
I felt as if I had to strike a poetic pose...really write something profound.

Then I married Paul...a writer....
and he kept a wine/travel journal...
a behemoth, stuffed,
over-sized book-of-a-thing.
OMG what amazing, detailed notes.
When we married he was on #9.

That pushed me over the edge.
I started to keep a travel diary.
I decided that I would just document the things we did.
Paste in business cards, jot
down notes.....including wine and food notes.
In the end they actually did take on a hint of the poetic.

When I first looked at Paul's I realized that all the 'stuff'...paper ephemera...clippings...really were fascinating and esthetic.

At the end of a busy day, I love to paste and clip....
and sometimes a drawing or two seem
to hop on the page.
I also carry a tiny notebook...(I found these little treasures at the La Fenice gift shop)....they are very useful during the day...when I don't/won't drag my larger journal around the city.

It's wonderful being able to go back over my notes and remember the places we've been.
It's also extremely useful...every year before my return to Venice,
I scour my notes and jot down which restaurants I want to revisit...
which sestieri I'd love to spend more time
which galleries were intriguing.......

(ps....the last four images are Paul's travel/wine diary...)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Venetian stain......

I just love what happens to the walls in this city....the way the colors seep and weep!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rowing in Venezia - a fabulous video

Here is a project that Nan McElroy is working on - in association with is the promotional video.
Nan's blog/website is Living Venice....I have it listed in my favorite the right.
Link to Grit-Grazia video.

Venetian artist Zacaria......

Elena Bussolin goes by the name....ZACARIA. Her little shop on the calle that runs beside La Fenice....Calle della always an annual stop.
I love her wonderfully loose and lyrical watercolors.
Over the years she has adorned a variety of objects with her whimsical images....from her wooden picture frames to notebooks and postcards.

Every year she has something new....this year she had wonderful tassels with blown glass beads...they are 8" long....not sure exactly what I'm going to do with them...but they are treasures I couldn't resist! While I was visiting this year, a lovely Venetian lady of years was buying a few more to fill in her hand. Zacaria mentioned that the lady was using them to hang on doors.....I wonder how many doors she has? I wonder which palazzo they are adorning......

Zacaria's little shop is a treasure chest of delights......well worth a stop.
Reasonable prices are a bonus!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Venezia flip book.....

A few years ago I did a series of flip books....featuring various cities and places I've is the one I did for Venice.
It's 3-1/2 " X 5-1/4" when closed.
Open it's 5-1/4" X 15"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Venice in Black & White

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

One of my favorite museums in Venice is the
Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It's located in her Palazzo....Palazzo Venier dei Leoni....on the
Grand Canal in Dorsoduro.
The Palazzo is wonderful....and the gardens too. I find the land entrance enchanting....and so close to Ca'Dario.....ahhh the mystery!
Here is a link to the Guggenheim Museum.

In the garden is this wonderful poem engraved on a's written by Jenny Holzer.

I walk in
I see you
I watch you
I scan you
I wait for you
I tickle you
I tease you
I search you
I breathe you
I talk

I smile
I touch your hair
You are the one
you are the one
I fell you
I ask you
I don't ask

I don't wait
I won't ask you
I lie
I am crying hard
there was blood
no one told me
no one knew
my mother knows
I forgot your name

I don't think
I bury my head
I bury you
my fever
my skin
I cannot breathe
I cannot eat
I cannot walk
I am losing time

I am losing ground
I cannot stand
I cry
I cry out
I bite
I bite your lip
I breathe you breath
I pulse
I pray
I pray aloud

I smell you on my skin
I say the word
I say your name
I cover you
I shelter you
I run from you
I sleep beside you
I smell you
on my clothes
I keep your clothes

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Carteria ai Frari

I'm not a shopper....really I'm not....UNTIL I COME TO VENEZIA.
I love stationery, art get the picture.
I always stop in this little shop and find tiny surprises...things I can use for my artwork.
This last November I found these great rubber stamps....and the pencil has removable leads.

The little stamps are about 1/2"....the map stamp of Venice is 1 1/4" by 2".
The pencil is just over 4".

I wonder what Elisabetta will have the next time I come in.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012