Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Phoenix rises...twice

A busy day yesterday - Gill, unfortunately has a bit of a bug so after a little nursing from the Contessa, he went farmacia shopping. He's a trooper and hasn't really let it slow him down. While he did that, I had an informative and inspiring chat with Severio Pastor, the forcole carver, and his young apprentice. I'm writing a sidebar to my Biennale story for The Honolulu Advertiser about them. Their carving is as much art as anything I've seen in the Biennale exhibitions.

The other highlight of the day was most definitely the audio tour of La Fenice, Venice's storied opera house that has twice survived devastating fires. The name, which means The Phoenix, could not be more appropriate. The 1200-seat main theater is a masterpiece of extremely decorative Rococo style. It also takes the comfort of both performers and audience members into consideration. Constructed mostly of wood including the floor, the acoustics are excellent. The velvet covered seats "on the floor" and in the five tiers of boxes are lovely and quiet and each has an air vent beneath. Not only does it keep the audience member cool in summer and warm in winter, it eliminates the need for large vents that are notoriously noisy and interfere with the music. No photography is allowed inside La Fenice but I've posted a photo of the main entrance to the left.

I'm sorry to report that dinner last night was a major mis-step. Recommended very highly by the agent from whom I rented the apartment, it was a very "local" place but we were served the "tourist" dinner. At least it was fairly inexpensive. Enough said...

Onward to today's adventures. Will take in a few last Biennale installations - hard to believe I've been here almost a full month, have not seen it all and will leave having not seen it all. I think I'll probably be back for another (I hope). I'm very much looking forward to dinner tonight - a third visit to Alle Testiere - and I know Gill is going to love it. And I think we better go back to VizioVirtu for some chocolate today, too.


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