Now, what news on the Rialto? (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act III, scene 1)
I accidentally got on a water-bus going in the wrong direction. Wound up on the finger of land that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic sea. And I saw something I hadn’t seen in days. An automobile.
…Today I had the opportunity to go to confession and celebrate Mass at the tomb of my baptismal patron. (Photography strictly prohibited inside.)
They keep some magnificent paintings in the old palace of the doge, right next door.
I visited the ancient church which held the cathedra of the Patriarch of Venice until just a couple centuries ago. (St. Mark’s basilica had served simply as the doge’s chapel for a millennia, before becoming the cathedral.) Found this inspiring sculpture of the triumph of the cross.
In the church of Saints John and Paul, martyrs, this stunning sculpture of St. Jerome.
And the foot of St. Catherine of Siena.
I had mentioned that Fra Paolo Sarpi, and the Venetian controversy with Pope Paul V, preoccupied me. I found the memorial of Father Sarpi.
And his grave, on the isle of the Cimeterio.
I have a million more things to tell you, dear reader, about this most-perplexing of places–where they developed a government like ours, a thousand years before we Americans even amounted to glimmers in our daddy’s eyes. Where, at 2am, all you hear is the light lapping of water in the canals. Visiting Venice makes me feel like I have not understood the world anywhere near as well as I thought I did.
The smell of the sea air has done me a lot of good. Say a prayer for my safe flight home tomorrow, if you please.