November 24, 2005

11.20.05-- Il Fa Molto Freddo!

Today is SO cold!! I had a very hard time functioning this morning because fanno molto freddo. I think it was close to 40 this morning and I was walking around in a sweater and a curdory jacket and a scarf. I'm going to be so sick!! *** The hostess of my Inn had said to be at Breakfast at 8:15. I wasn't sure if this was negotiable, so I didn't want to be too late. I, therefore, arrived at 8:25 and sat alone in the breakfast area with the hostess for the entire breakfast. She worked, I ate, in silence. It was good food, though. Merengues and an ornge gel tarte and breads and all sorts of other good stuff I didn't try. Any type of coffee you can imagine, too! And sugar cubes! I love sugar cubes! Around 9, I set out for the Piazza San Marco. The site of the Basilica, Doges Palace and the Bell Tower, it because a huge tourrist attraction rather quickly. My goal was to see it before all the people ruined it. I wanted to imagine it like it was in the Roman era. With the exception of a few Japanese, and many, many pigeons, I got my wish. The piazza was quiet, the cafe tables stacked together along the columns at the ejdge. The sun was just beginning to peek out from behind the bell tower and its rays cast a warm glow onto one facade of the Piazza. The Basilica, which loomed much more ornately large and grandiose than books had described, was silent as well. The statues of San Marco and his compatriots looked down on me with what I took to be a welcoming look, though the sign said the church was closed till two. The front of the building is incredibly detailed, in the baroque style, with beautiful tapestries in rich reds, blues and greens potraying the life of Christ, all on Gold backgrops. There are arches galore and angels praising every turn. (Later at the Guggenheim, I saw a photo of the Basilica with a construction sign that said "Caution: Angels Falling.") The rest of San Marco is similiar in style. Arched walkways surround the entire piazza and every window is arched. It is all baroque, old and, frankly, dirty. What would help would be to wash the entire facade, as all the buildings were once white, though they now are all gray. The Bell Tower, on the other hand, is new. It's made almost entirely of Brick, with the exception of the steeple area, which is a few arches, I supposed to attempt to blend in. The structure stands inside the piazza, to the side, touching one of the walls. It also leands. Badly. Though one can't see it as well up close, from far it's very obvious. (Either that, or my equilibrium is REALLY off!) The tower fell down in 1912 and has been rebuilt at least once; it now has an elevator to take visitors to the top. The view is supposed to be breathtaking. Whatever, like the Eiffel Tower, it's enough for me just to see it. I don't need to go up it. There's a story that if the bells ring when you're in San Marco, you're someone special, ecause they're rarely rung. I don't believe that story because I heard them yesterday once and today twice. Then again, I am pretty damn special!! *** I spent the morning shivering. So much so that I wandered around for hours, through small calle after ruega, trying to find an open store to buy a jacket. In the process, I stumbled across a few little gardens, the Institute of Sciences and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. The most interesting thing about the Museum was the collection of Pollocks. No, I take that back-- the view from her back deck was breathtaking. Then the Pollocks. She had Miros, Picassos, Dalis and the likes, but I'm so tired of them! I'm tired of the others who try to copy Picasso-- she had them, too. But the Pollocks were unique, and so interesting! Colorful, visual, somthing to ponder because they had names like "the Cirumcision." Fascinating... There was also a photo exhibit which had several interesting WWII pics. The one that stayed with me the most, though, was of a spanish soldier who was falling after being shot during the Spanish Civil War. What a powerful image. [By the way, the bells are ringing again. It's a myth; they ring with the hour.] After the Guggenheim, I finally got a coat. A warm, down lined, fox-fur tirmed jacket. It cost to much, but I'll have it for years and I'm warm for the first time since last Tuesday! Now, I've taken a cappucino in the Piazza. Delicious, but cost as much as my gnocci was last night!

No comments: