Picture of the Week

We start this new section where every week a different picture will be showcased. Occasionally, there will be a second picture for you to identify.

The answer will be posted the following week, but if you do not want to wait, you can always e-mail me at:
(your e-mail address will not be published or shared)

San Polo Picture of the Week 2010
Santa Croce Picture of the Week 2011
Castello San Marco Picture of the Week 2012
Madonna della Misericordia
Christmas in Venice Picture of the Week 2013
Snow-Covered Venice
Signs, Banners and Graffiti Picture of the Week 2014
Cast in Stone
External Links Picture of the Week 2016
Summertime Venice and the Eastern Mediterranean Picture of the Week 2017
Most Serene Places My Favorites Picture of the Week 2018
Dorsoduro Picture of the Week Picture of the Week 2019

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Buon Natale, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Feliz Natal!

December 18, 2015

Calle Larga XXII Marzo, San Marco.

Dove siamo? (I couldn't avoid the pun.) Answer

December 11, 2015

Church of Santi Geremia e Lucia, Cannaregio.
December 13 is the feast day of Saint Lucy, patroness of Syracuse (Italy), the Saint Lucia islands in the Caribbean and the state of Nebraska. Her relics were moved to the church of San Geremia when hers was demolished in 1861 to make room for the new railroad station. Her bones were stolen in November 1981 and recovered a few weeks later on her feast day. Santa Lucia's feast day is widely celebrated in Italy and the Scandinavian countries.

Where are we? Answer

December 4, 2015

Rio de le Romite and Ponte de le Turchette over Rio del Malpaga, Dorsoduro.

Where are we? Answer

November 27, 2015

An intimate voyage to the world of Carpaccio
It's impossible to love Venice and not to love Vittore Carpaccio. He rarely made Venice the subject of his paintings but Venice is embedded in each of his brushstrokes, in each cityscape that he depicted in minute detail, be it Jerusalem or Alexandria. Sometimes uninhibited, sometimes candid, but never timid or cagey and always luminous, Carpaccio ushers us into the world of Venice with her mannerisms, her people and her myths. In the book "Ciao, Carpaccio! An Infatuation," (Liveright, New York, 2014) Jan Morris takes us on an intimate tour of Carpaccio's universe, his affections, his soft-spots, his humor. The book is lusciously illustrated with blown-up details of many of his pictures. It's size and landscape shape, ŕ la "Venice for Pleasure," make it the perfect companion on our bookshelves to J. G. Link's classic.  Talking about Vittore (Jan Morris is on a first-name basis with him) she says: "I feel I know him personally, and I often sense that I am directly in touch with him across the centuries, across the continents, as one might be in touch with a living friend." And she is speaking for a lot of us.

Where are we? Answer

November 20, 2015

Madonna de la Salute and Punta de la Dogana.
November 21st is the feast day of the Madonna de la Salute.

What bridge are we standing on? Answer

November 13, 2015

I wonder how old they are and what they kept inside. Oil, wine, water, fuel, perfume?

Where do we have to go to see this beautiful Madonna? Answer

November 6, 2015

Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore.

Cypress Cloister, designed and built by Giovanni di Antonio Buora and his son Andrea Buora (16th century).

Palladian Cloister, designed by Andrea Palladio and completed more than 120 years after his death.

Where are we? Answer

October 30, 2015

Magical Torcello. Views from the campanile.

Fondamenta and Rio dei Borgognoni with Ponte del Diavolo


Attila's throne in front of the Palazzo del Consiglio (14th cent.) today Museo di Torcello

Church of Santa Fosca (left) and Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (right) with the campanile.
Torcello was once a busy commercial and religious center more powerful than Venice.
At its peak, its population has been estimated as low as 3,000 and as high as 30,000.
As of 2014 only ten residents remained.

October 23, 2015

Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, better known as Church of the Scalzi (Chiesa degli Scalzi), Cannaregio.
One hundred years ago, on October 24, 1915, beginning at 10:15 pm and for a period
of two hours under a radiant full moon Venice is bombarded by the Austrians. The result is the partial destruction
of this church including Tiepolo's masterpiece fresco on the ceiling: "Translation of the House of Loreto."
By war's end in 1918, Venice has suffered 42 air raids dropping a total of 1029 bombs and causing 52 deaths.

We're going to one of my favorite places...Answer

October 16, 2015

Inside the Arsenal, Castello

Where are we?  Tough but inferable. Think outside the box. Answer

October 11, 2015

View of Grand Canal with Palazzo Malipiero-Cappello (San Marco) in the forefront,
from Palazzetto Stern (Dorsoduro.)

Where are we? This is not the main altar of the church. Think big. Answer

September 18, 2015

Palazzo Falier, San Marco

Where can we find this fountain? It's in a corte almost at the end of a rio terŕ. Answer

September 11, 2015

Water shots

Where are we? Answer

September 4, 2015

"Piscis Primum a Capite Foetet"(fish starts to stink from the head)
Pescaria. San Polo

Tough as a rock. Where can we find this vera da pozzo that resembles a sugar bowl? (Hint: it's in an internal garden
visible from the fondamenta). Answer

August 28, 2015

Giudecca from San Giorgio Maggiore

Where are we? Answer

August 21, 2015

Rio de la Tana, Castello, looks naked without laundry.

Where did they plant these sad girasoli? (The clue may be at the bottom left). Answer.

August 14, 2015

Buds. Burano

Where are we? Answer

August 7, 2015

San Marco

Where are we under the pouring rain? Answer

July 31, 2015

Fondamenta Widmann and Sotoportego del Magazen, Cannaregio.

Here is a tough one. Where is this calle that seems to defy the laws of perspective?
(Notice how the lines, especially in the second picture, do not converge
to the same point.) Answer.

July 24, 2015

Camini, Museo Fortuny, San Marco.

Where is this other sky-high object found? Answer

July 17, 2015

Harmonious Venetian laundry

Where are we? Answer

July 10, 2015
Ponte de la Ca' di Dio and bell-tower of the church of San Martino, Castello.

Where are we? Answer

July 4, 2015

San Todaro, first patron saint of Venice, San Marco.

Where are we? Answer

June 26, 2015

Enjoying the day at the Arsenale, Castello.

June 19, 2015

Sant' Andrea de la Zirada, main altar. Santa Croce.
The original church dates from 1329 but it was rebuilt in 1475 in the Gothic style. It's been deconsecrated and it's now used for art exhibits. It can rarely be visited.
A group of sculptures, including the dead Christ, adorns the main altar, a work of Flemish artist  Giusto Le Court (1679). Some of the art work that was originally in this church can now be admired in the Museo Diocesano, in Sant' Apollonia (Castello).

Thanks to Sophie from Paris for sharing these great pictures with all of us.

Where is this scared cat? Think Woody Allen. Think "Summertime." Answer.

June 12, 2015

Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato, Murano.

A very tough "Where are we?"
Think "de ultra," not "de citra." Answer.

May 8, 2015

Pasticceria Bar Rizzardini, San Polo.

Where are we? Answer

May 1, 2015

Campo Santa Maria Nova, Cannaregio

April 24, 2015

Rialto, San Polo

Where are we? Answer

April 17, 2015

Mercato, San Polo

Where are we?Answer

April 10, 2015

Rio de San Stae by Fondamenta de le Grue, San Polo

Where are we? Answer

April 3, 2015

Ponte dei Lustraferi (or Lustraferri), Cannaregio. The lustraferi, a typical Venetian profession, made the ferri of the gondolas smooth and shiny. The ferro da prňra or ferro di prua is located at the bow and resembles the doge's hat. It weights about 20 pounds and gives stability to the gondola. The ferro di poppa or risso is in the stern and has a spiral shape. It's the highest point of the gondola and it's often cut or has a hinge so it can be folded over for easy passage under bridges during hide tide.

 Where are we? Think Santa Croce. Answer

March 27, 2015

Santa Maria della Salute, Dorsoduro.

Where are we? Answer

March 21, 2015

Riviera Santa Maria Elisabetta, Lido

This beautiful pastiche wall has a charming relief of the Visitation

Where are we? Answer

March 13, 2015

Campo San Zaccaria, Castello

Where are we? Answer

March 7, 2015


Crossing the Alps by plane doesn't do justice to one of the most beautiful regions of our planet where the perfect marriage of nature and civilization takes place, but it gives us an all-embracing view of hidden locations sheltered in concealed valleys that would take us hours, if not days, to connect by car, all in less than 30 minutes. These pictures were taken at the end of summer from the port side of the airplane on a trip from Frankfurt to Venice.

Inn River Valley. The Inn River starts in Switzerland, cuts across the Austrian Tyrol (the "panhandle" of Austria), darts fully into Germany, then delimits the border between Germany and Austria and ends at Passau on the Danube. It's the only river that carries Switzerland into the Black Sea (via the Danube.) A few miles before its end, it receives the waters of its major tributary, the Salzach. Innsbruck is some 20 miles upstream, or to the right, in the picture below.  On the banks of the Inn River two opposites were born: Adolf Hitler and Pope Benedict XVI:

Kramsach (bottom), Breitenbach (middle) and Wörgl (top) on the Inn River. The Inntal Autobahn runs parallel to the river. Tyrol; Austria:

The bridge on the Ziller River connects Kaltenbach (center, bottom) and Stumm (center, top). The Ziller River is a tributary of the Inn River. It runs from south (right) to north (left). Traveling singers and organ builders, for whom the region of the Ziller Valley was famous, are credited with spreading around the world the beloved Christmas carol "Silent Night," which was composed and sung for the first time on the banks of the Salzach River, at Oberndorf near Salzburg:

Salzach Valley. The Salzach River has its source near Krimml. It runs west (bottom) to east (top) before it turns north. It cuts across Salzburg, it becomes the border between Germany and Austria, before it empties its waters into the Inn:

Valle Aurina (named after the Torrente Aurino or Golden Stream that runs through it; also known as Ahrntal or Ahr Valley) is the first valley as we cross the Alps from Austria into Italy. It's located in South Tyrol also known as Alto Adige:

Another view of the Ahrntal running right to left. The villages of Sand in Taufers (Campo Tures) and Mühlen in Taufers (Molini di Tures) are seen below. This part of the South Tyrol in the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige is predominantly German speaking, with less than 3% of the population claiming Italian as their first language:

Brunico or Bruneck, a city at the confluence of the Ahr and the Rienz rivers. It was an important trading post between Venice and southern Germany in the 14th and 15th centuries. Only about 15% of the population speaks Italian as the first language; the vast majority speaks German:

San Vigilio di Marebbe or Al Plan de Mareo, in Ladin. Ladin is the native language of this region of Italy. Ladin is a group of Romance dialects spoken in certain regions of Alto Adige, Trentino and Belluno. It should not be confused with Ladino, a language spoken by the Sephardic Jews. In Al Plan de Mareo more than 90% of the population speaks Ladin as their first language:

Lago di Fedaia. The Fedaia is an artificial lake in the province of Trento near the border with the province of Belluno. Scenes from the movie "The Italian Job" (2003) were filmed on this lake. It sits next to the Marmolada, a group of mountains that holds the largest glacier of the Dolomites. The Marmolada can be seen on the right:

Cicona (bottom of picture), Zortea (just above Cicona) – both in the bottom valley-, Mezzano (center), Imer (to its right) and Fiera di Primiero (upper left) – all three in the top valley– are small villages in the province of Trento (Trentino-Alto Adige). Imer is the first village in the Primiero Valley after the spectacular Gola dello Schenčr (Gorge of the Schenčr), seen in the picture below as a deep cut in the mountains, about one third up from the bottom on the right hand side. According to legend, this gorge was formed thanks to a lonely and determined otter who cut a passage downstream of the Schenčr River's basin. This brought water into the Primiero Valley, making human habitation possible. The otter is immortalized in the emblems of the municipalities of the region:

A closer view of Mezzano and Imer and the Gola dello Schenčr leading to the Primiero Valley:

Lago del Senŕiga in the municipality of Lamon (seen to the left of the lake), province of Belluno in the region of the Veneto. Lamon was officially incorporated into the territory of the Serenissima in 1420:

Brenta Valley and Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto:


Brenta Canal:

Via Marzabotto, Canale Novissimo and Strada Statale 309 (running parallel to the canal):





Ponte de la Libertŕ:

Campalto, Comune di Venezia:

Parco San Giuliano (on the left):

Almost at the Marco Polo airport:

Venezia, finally!!

Here is a tough one. Where are we? Answer

February 27, 2015


Where are we? Answer

February 20, 2015

A rose ain't a rose ain't a rose ain't a rose

Andrea di Robilant's latest work: "Chasing the Rose. An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside" is a gem of a book with an embossed dust jacket and charming watercolors by Nina Fuga that engages the reader even before it is opened. Di Robilant does the rest with his clear and entertaining prose.

In his previous books –all related to Venice– "A Venetian Affair," "Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon," and "Irresistible North," he took us around Venice by gondola, to Paris by stagecoach and to Iceland and Greenland by ship and plane. This time he drives us around the Veneto and Friuli in search of Rosa Moceniga, a mysterious rosebush that grows wild in Alvisopoli in the remains of what once was a model farming and manufacturing community, the brainchild of his great-great-great-great grandfather, Alvise Mocenigo.

Who brought this rose to Alvisopoli? Was it Lucia, Alvise's wife and Empress Josephine's friend? Is this rose an "old blush," the most common of old roses? Its peculiar scent of peaches and raspberries tells di Robilant that it is not. But how can he be sure? Answering these questions is the apparent purpose of di Robilant's adventures in northern Italy but those questions recede to the background as he starts to meet and interact with rose lovers
in the Venetian countryside and beyond.

I am no rose aficionado (I gather neither was di Robilant before he started his chase). I can hardly distinguish one variety from the next, the taxonomy of roses interests me as much as the inner workings of my coffee maker and Gertrude Stein's sentence: "a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" perfectly summarizes my standing on the subject, but I couldn't put this little book down once I started it. Di Robilant reeled me in and made me feel that I was not just reading a book about roses but rather I was following a friend on a poetic quest. I used Google maps to pinpoint places that di Robilant vividly describes in minute detail but of which he does not give the precise location. For example, of his first encounter with one of the book's highlights, the amazing rose garden of Signora Eleonora Garlant in Friuli, he says: "The road wound through Artegna and came to a dead end in a dusty parking lot next to a construction site –a new sports facility, by the look of it....[The] house [was] the last one before the railroad tracks." With a little bit of guesswork and the help of Street View I was able to find the exact place in Artegna and take a look around the garden which, regrettably, was not in bloom.

"Chasing the Rose" is a lyrical tale of a family history brought full circle by a descendant centuries after it started. The Mocenigo's coat of arms bears a simple five-petal rose. Lucia brought from Paris a rose scented like peaches and raspberries that grew wild and forgotten for two hundred years near Venice. Andrea di Robilant rediscovered it.

After reading this book which, incidentally, brought back fond memories of another book about a rose too – "The Little Prince"– I learned to regard this most common of flowers with a fresh and inquisitive appreciation.

Mocenigo's coat of arms

Do you know where to find this relief of the Mocenigo's coat of arms? Think Castello. Answer.

February 13, 2015
Church of Sant' Alvise, Cannaregio.

The church was commissioned by Antonia Vernier in 1383. It's dedicated to Saint Louis d'Anjou, Bishop of Toulouse.
Saint Louis was the heir to the kingdom of Naples, to which he renounced to serve the poor. He died in 1297 at the age of 23.

February 6, 2015

Accademia Galleries, Dorsoduro
Polychrome marble floors (seventeenth cent.)

Where are we before (2009), during (2011) and after (2013) this restoration? Think Dorsoduro. Answer

January 31, 2015

Ponte dei Frati on Rio de Sant'Angelo, San Marco.
Built originally in 1455 to access the convent
of Santo Stefano, it was rebuilt in 1876 to connect Campo Sant' Angelo and Campo
Santo Stefano.

In which corner of San Marco are we? Answer

January 23, 2015

Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Cannaregio

January 16, 2015

Winter morning at Ponte de l'Accademia

Where were we in this winter morning? Answer

January 10, 2015

Winter night

January 2, 2015

After a six-month hiatus we are back online. Happy New Year!!!

July 11, 2014

Cicheti time. Osteria da Carla, San Marco.

Where are we? Answer