Governors and Glass Blowers
Trip Start Jun 28, 2007
36Trip End Jul 27, 2007
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Where I stayed
Ca' Teresa apartment
Despite my best efforts to get everyone moving, it was still after 09h30 before we left the apartment this morning. We took the vaporetto to St.Mark's and went directly to the Doge's Palace. There we rented two auidoguides which we shared between us as we strolled through the various rooms. They helped bring meaning and context to what we were seeing, making for an interesting 2-hour tour. For both Stephane and me, the coolest part was the armoury filled with a stunning variety of pole arms, swords, helmets, cross-bows, and firearms.
Next, we took photos of Warwick the troll feeding pigeons in the palazzo. As usual, he drew a lot of amused looks from passers-by. We also fed ourselves a quick sandwich from Leoni restaurant as we walked to the vaporetto stop for the #42 to Murano island
More interesting by far were the two stops we made to watch master craftsmen at work by their furnaces. The first featured a trio of older men who performed a silent dance as together they made elements of an elaborate chandelier. It was fascinating to see their wordless interaction and the deft timing between them.
The second artisan was drawing animal figures out of molten glass. Heated to 1000 degrees, the glass was malleable as corn syrup and it took quick and sure movements to create swans, squirrels, bulls, and a multi-coloured vase. Each piece took less than 5 minutes but required gradual cooling in heat furnaces for 12 hours to ensure they don't become brittle. It gave us a whole new appreciation of the creations we saw.
Back at home, we whipped up a salad and egg wraps for supper and went to bed early as we were all rather tired and had a big day ahead of us.
Another sticky day in Venice. Our apartment would be a haven if it had air-conditioning. Thank goodness for a breeze off the water. We spent the morning touring the Doge's Palace, Danielle and I sharing an audioguide. Frankly, we weren't very impressed - the rooms virtually empty, lack of benches to sit on, and the droning voice on the audioguide
That afternoon we took a vaporetto to Murano island, which is famous for its glass blowing and many, many glass items - rings, bracelets, necklaces, vases, lamps, sculptures, animals, bowls, and much more. Paul and the kids keps finding workshops with glass blowing demonstrations. Completely fascinating and precise art turning sand into a bulb of glass into a prancing horse or colourful vase. It is also very, very, very hot. A piece of paper placed on the sculpture erupts into flame on contact and completely incinerates.
We spent countless hours window shopping, darting in and out of shops until our feet hurt. Fortune was ours as we found two treasures. The fist is an exquisite glass necklace for me, irregular shaped with browns, greens, and blues swirling through it. The second was a delicate, unique goblet unlike anything I've seen . Paul discovered the shop and we were blown away by the products. The golblet is smal but with fascinating detail and rich colours - blacks, reds, greens, oranges, and blues. Beautiful to look and and hold. A gentle reminder of Murano Island.