My favorite things Venice

1. Favorite playwright: Carlo Goldoni, eighteenth century, best if you can see one rather than try to read it.

2. Play, set in: William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.  Read it carefully and repeatedly, it is far subtler on issues of racism and prejudice than you might have been expecting.

3. Opera, set in: Verdi’s Otello (James Levine recording).  Even as a dramatic work I (perhaps oddly) prefer this to Shakespeare’s play.

4. Memoir, set in: Casanova, though I suggest you read an abridged edition.  I strongly recommend reading Marco Polo as well, though I am not sure that counts as a “memoir.”

5. Short story, set in: Thomas Mann, “Death in Venice.”  But a close runner-up is Henry James, “The Aspern Papers.”

Are you getting the picture? Venice has inspired numerous major writers and artists.  However I don’t love John Ruskin on Venice.

6. Painting: Ah!  Where to start?  I’ll opt for Giorgione’s The Tempest, or any number of late Titian works.  And there are so many runners-up, starting with Veronese, Tintoretto, the Bellinis, and later Tiepolo.  Even a painter as good as Sebastiano del Piombo is pretty far down the list here.  Canaletto bores me, though the technique is impressive.

7. Sculptor: Antonio Canova was born in the Venetian Republic, and I believe he is now one of the most underrated of Western artists.  His greatest work is in Vienna.

8. Composer: I can’t quite bring myself to count Monteverdi as Venetian, so that leaves me with Luigi Nono and also Gabrieli and Albioni and Vivaldi, none of whom I enjoy listening to.

9. Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli.  I enjoy his Mahler and Strauss and Elgar, and his take on Verdi’s Aida was special as well.

10. Photographer of: Derek Parfit, here are some images.

11. Movie, set in: I can recall the fun Casino Royale James Bond scene, but surely there is a better selection attached to a better movie.  What might that be?

11. Maxim about: Pope Gregory XIII: “I am pope everywhere except in Venice.”

All in all, not bad for a city that nowadays has no more than 60,000 residents and was never especially large.

I’ll be there in a few days time.

Comments

11. Probably the most highly esteemed movie set in Venice is "Don't Look Now".

The Tourist, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie continues to be the sort of impressive movie that people like Prof. Cowen likely spend no time on.

Which makes sense, as The Tourist is an impressively awful movie, even when using Venice as a backdrop.

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new American Academy of Pediatrics report says. And my answer even more
so, on condition that we now have restaurants of such micro-specificity as "Isan cooking of northeastern Thailand." "Creative American? There are most likely a number of hundreds of Filipino dishes produced by Filipino or Pinoy cooking.

A suicide under suicide watch?!? WTH is going on?

This all seems very familiar...

Trump's a pedo. He had to protect himself.

"Don't Look Now" was really scary when seen for the first time on a big screen movie theater. Joseph Losey's film adaptation of Mozart's Don Giovanni is set in Venice and is visually appealing (the singing is first rate as well).

"Spider-man: Far From Home"

5. " However I don’t love John Ruskin on Venice."

John Ruskin didn't make sense on any subject.

Even if you don't like the theses, Stones of Venice contains enough factual information to rebuild and redecorate St Mark's from rubble to within the tolerance of about an inch. Tyler should read at least book two again IMO, no way can you enjoy the buildings of Venice in the same way without it.

"Venice has inspired numerous major writers and artists. "

But mostly in the period of its decline, oui? Yes, much much agree on Marco Polo, remarkable

They will ban large cruise ships soon. That should help. The place just can't handle the onslaught. 30 million visitos per year? Egads.

They want to ban the Chinese but can't do it outright. I doubt cruise ships will wil keep them out so who knows what comes after that..

Tourist taxes (broadly defined). You can make them pretty steep in Venice before you start truly stemming the flow.

Venice was a pretty boring place last time I went. Won't come back when there's the whole rest of the globe to surprise you.

My favorite thing is that it is where The Talmud was first printed. Since it is the most important book in my life, Venice has a special place in my heart. See also Cecil Roth History of the Jewish Community of Venice.

https://primolevicenter.org/printed-matter/bound-in-venice-the-first-talmud/

Can someone explain the painting to me?

It's in Wikipedia: "The Tempest (Italian La Tempesta) is a Renaissance painting by the Italian master Giorgione dated between 1506 and 1508. Originally commissioned by the Venetian noble Gabriele Vendramin, the painting is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia of Venice, Italy. Despite considerable discussion by art historians, the meaning of the scene remains elusive. "

My take, from taking a course in college on art appreciation, something the professor said: back in the days before pornography, a lot of women were shown nude as titillation (think of Edouard Manet's Reclining Nude). Notice the soldier with the boner. Connect the dots (paint by numbers).

That’s not a boner, it’s contemporary dress. Watch one of Pasolini’s medieval films to see it in live action.

Read Mark Helprin's "A Soldier of the Great War".

Or spend some time in an infantry rifle company.

I've done both the above. I love this painting.

11. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has a few fun scenes that supposedly take place in Venice. Plus the opportunity to feel hydrologically knowledgeable: "Catacombs? In Venice? What an absurd thought!"

I do not agree on Albinoni and Vivaldi, but appreciate most of this diverting hit-parade. Please add Luchino Visconti’s superb film with Dirk Bogarde to Thomas Mann’s masterpiece. The movie impressed me a lot when I still was a teenager. Fascinated by the mysterious mix of Italian beauty I chose 30 years ago to work, live, marry, buy a house, have children and pay taxes in this country. Now with all the inimaginable personal, private and public mess around me, I understand how deep Mann’s and Visconti’s insight in this strange attraction and men’s illusion to dominate fate, to control their environment, and the dark forces that govern the eternal course of things, was. Italy like Venice is a beautiful monster that destroys anything that comes in touch with it. How can Europe deal with this problem, già can it avoid the riso of contagion? I should write a book about that.

The "rice" of contagion? I've never heard that expression, in either English or Italian.

Risk, obviously.

Errata corrige: "HOW can it avoid the RISK of contagion?" Sorry for the DOUBLE typing error. That happens easily if you commonly write in four different languages on your pc or cell phone and enable auto-correct in each of them. Sorry. I definitively should write less.

Dangerous beauty while not an amazing movie in itself has an interesting story based on a real woman Veronica Franco and is based on her life as a courtesan in Venice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Beauty

"no more than 60,000 residents"

Build more housing. Boomers are so hostile to their children.

Funny, and a serious point at the same time. I'd like to know what a YIMBY guy like Tyler would answer to that.

I hesitate to admit this, but I am a fan of Baron Corvo, especially his novel Hadrian the Seventh. I believe he's buried in Venice.

*Don’t Look Now*!

1. If you have a fighting chance to be able to read Goldoni in its original venetian dialect, it is worth giving it a try. For someone who knows French, this is surprisingly easy, much easier than reading modern Italian. Knowing Italian helps a lot too, of course.

For instance, one fun thing amongst many in Goldoni that is lost in translation is the Venetian use of the second person singular when you speak to an inferior, the second person plural when you speak to an equal, the third person singular feminine when you speak to a superior (as in modern Italian). Of course, that's the normal use, and by just sometimes violating those rules Goldoni can carry a lot of sentiments: insolence, anger, even love.

2. Great advice. A good reading about this play is the chapter on it in René Girard's "A Theatre of Envy: William Shakespeare". Especially about the questions of racism and antisemitism.

I saw a version of the Servant of Two Masters performed in Scots. It worked wonderfully well: the theatre rocked with laughter.

"Merchant of Venice. Read it carefully and repeatedly" seems rather redundant - surely everyone should have read it in school?

"Canaletto bores me": each to his own. I like his stuff.

I love Ando Fuchs on Venice: http://www.ando-fuchs.at
Also Marina Sersale: http://www.hikaricreative.net/venice.html

In its day, Venice was one of the largest cities in Europe, on par with Paris. I dislike the “Casino Royale” scene because it perpetuates the myth that Venice is built above water (floating? on pylons?) A better blockbuster scene is probably the remake of “The Italian Job,” but a film that Venetians still have a soft spot for is “Bread and Tulips.” A number of good books are out there on its economic history, and of course its economy is now cannibalizing the city with investments in overtourism. Any suggestions on how to wrangle the problem would be extremely helpful (but most probably ignored by the powers-that-be).

Venice is in fact built on wooden poles stuck into the mud.

11. Summertime is the David Lean film set in Venice starring Katherine Hepburn. The film tells the story of Jane Hudson - played by Hepburn, who was nominated for an Oscar - an American spinster who, with her lifetime savings decides to take a holiday in Venice. In Venice, she feels a sense of melancholy, seeing so many happy couples while she is alone. In St Mark's Square she is pointed at by a Venetian and then accidentally ends up in his antiques shop. Upset over the meeting, Jane falls into a canal in front of the shop, and then she gives in to passion, even though the antiques dealer is married. When the holiday ends, Jane prefers to go home, but always remembering her lover in Venice. [To shoot the scene of falling into a canal, Hepburn repeated the scene three times, the dirty water of the Venetian canals causing Hepburn a bad infection in one eye, for which she suffered the rest of her life.]

“Imagine yourself as only one motion. Kinesis, fluidity, transference, forget the words. Keep the intuition, O.K?”
“Like a cape?”
“A cape is more of a formation,” Caroline said.
“Your roll has a spin to it,” Jane said, as she opened her eyes.
“It ought to! I shake hands for a living. I’m a treasurer now downtown.”

So that is. While the world burns, we seek refuge in simpler, more pleasent times instead of confronting the perils our days present to us. Are we tale ostrichs? I ask, aren't we men?

Thiago, its hard to be an ostrich in Venice. Not enough sand.

There is good reason to believe actual ostrichs do not really hide their heads. Anyway, I am not talking about real ostriches in Venice. It is a metaphor by being a coward who refuses to face the reality as it is. Such as Churchill's famous saying about appeasers feeding a crocodile because they hope they be eaten last. It is about letting India and Red China running the show and throwing the world into chaos because we fear dirtying our pretty hands. I say it is a time dor action.

>While the world burns

Yeah. There's literally never been a worse time to be alive.

Going there in mid August seems like a bad idea. Go in the off-season, it's a million times nicer place - you have less rivals to share the tourist sights with.

Lord Marchmain asks Charles Ryder who his favourite Venetian painter is:

'Bellini,' I answered rather wildly.

'Yes? Which?'

'I'm afraid I didn't know there were two of them.'

'Three, to be precise. You will find that, in the great ages, painting was very much a family business.'

11. Movie set in Venice

I will probably go with David Lean's Summertime. Starring Katherine Hepburn

What ignorant dreck. Most of Casanova took place outside Venice. No mention of il fuoco? And was that tripe about the merchant of Venice satire?

Music Video: Madonna--Like a Virgin

Brideshead's Venice scenes, Irons & Olivier, also great.

Favorite vodka ad: Absolut Venice, with the pigeons.

I'd like to hear Tyler's take on what there is to see in Venice today. I know it's outrageously over-touristed, but what are the parts of Venice still work seeing?

Most of Venice is almost entirely devoid of tourists. The tourists tend to stick to the area between Piazza Marco and the Rialto Bridge.

San Marco, that is.

No part of Venice is "devoid of tourists." As a matter of fact, they're everywhere. It's true that Piazza San Marco and the area around the Rialto Bridge are sometimes impassable due to the hordes of Americans day tripping off cruise ships.

If you stay away from the above areas and go in the offseason, you'll have a decidedly better experience.

If you avoid the tourist hot spots, many parts of Italy are tourist free.

But what is worth seeing? Specifically, what's worth seeing in the non-tourist part of Venice?

Everything in Venice is worth seeing. Just walk around.

From an economics / history perspective, you might consider seeing the Arsenal.

"Construction of the Arsenal began around 1104, during Venice's republican era.[2][3] It became the largest industrial complex in Europe before the Industrial Revolution,[4] spanning an area of about 45 hectares (110 acres), or about fifteen percent of Venice.[2] Surrounded by a 2-mile (3.2 km) rampart, laborers and shipbuilders regularly worked within the Arsenal, building ships that sailed from the city's port.[5] With high walls shielding the Arsenal from public view and guards protecting its perimeter, different areas of the Arsenal each produced a particular prefabricated ship part or other maritime implement, such as munitions, rope, and rigging.[6] These parts could then be assembled into a ship in as little as one day.[7] An exclusive forest owned by the Arsenal navy, in the Montello hills area of Veneto, provided the Arsenal's wood supply.

The Arsenal produced the majority of Venice's maritime trading vessels, which generated much of the city's economic wealth and power, lasting until the fall of the republic to Napoleon's conquest of the area in 1797.[8] It is located in the Castello district of Venice, and it is now owned by the state."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Arsenal

Sargent’s watercolors of Venice over Canaletto.

+1
JSS is one of the greats.

3. Verdi's Otello is not, actually, set in Venice, but in Crete. There are some scenes in Shakespeare's play set in Venice, involving Othello's courtship of/marriage to Desdemona, but Verdi and Boito cut those out and began the opera already in Crete (Shakespeare's Act II, I believe).

I think that Rossini's Otello is set in Venice, and Ponchielli's La Giocanda definitely is.

Great section on Giorgione’s The Tempest, in Mark Helprin’s The Soldier of the Great War.

There is series of detectives novels set in Venice Commissionario Brunetti. The Germans made a TV series with great production values that never failed to irritate me as the very Italian characters spoke German- also they changed the principle character in the middle. Check out Mhz for subtitled seasons.

The Commissario Brunetti novels, by Donna Leon, are terrific, IMO.

In addition to the Roeg already mentioned several times, Visconti is a great chronicler of Venice locations. Both his Death in Venice and Senso are chocked full of gorgeous exteriors and interiors.

I was also wondering why Death in Venice didn't also pop up in the "Best movie set in Venice" category.

I agree that Verdi's and Boito's Otello is better than the original Othello (but it is set in Cyprus, not Crete). And I agree that Georgione's La Tempesta is the greatest painting in the Accademea (or perhaps in any museum other than the Uffizi, the Prado or the Kunsthistorische Museum).

Just another shoutout for "Don't look now."

While in Venice, read John Berendt’s ‘City of Falling Angels’, which is as fascinating as his better known ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’. I wrote about it in The Australian newspaper. See:
https://susanhurley.com.au/beware-of-falling-angels/

The most beautiful fashion photo my father ever took was on location in Venice.

6. I believe the Titian you linked to may be in the Prado. IMHO the Titian you should have linked to (and should definitely see if you have the time) is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pietà_(Titian)

12. Scientist: the Merchants of Venice saw great value in Galileo's telescope before anyone else https://londonastronomer.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/galileo-in-venice/

I guess he doesn't count as a Venetian composer, but Igor Stravinsky is buried in Venice.

No favorite restaurant?

My knowledge of Venetian restaurants isn't comprehensive, but I was once recommended to visit Arturo's at the charming address of Calle dei Assassini (not the Rio Terra dei Assassini, they run into each other but are two different streets, you won't find it if you mix them up.). A hole in the wall and a bit dingy, but of the restaurants recommended to me when in Venice, it was the best and the non pretentiousness of the decor added greatly to the charm. Also, if it's slow when you're there, and I'd think having an attractive woman in your party would help, the chef (there is only one chef and one waiter, at least when I was there, I think if either isn't there the restaurant is closed), might come out and show you his scrap book. He occasionally caters parties in LA and he'll show you pictures of him hanging out with George, Brad, Leo... and the like.

The 20 euro bellinis at the Hotel Danielli are good too, though maybe not 20 euro good.

Some of my favorites include:
Trattoria alla Rivetta - Packed with locals, which is a great sign for a place full of tourists
Il Ridotto - One Michelin starred place noted for its seafood. They have a very reasonable lunch special
Venissa - Located a bit out of the way on the island of Mazzorbo, the trek will most certainly be rewarded. This Michelin -starred restaurant offers incredible avant garde Venetian cuisine. One of my favorite meals in all of Italy.

#5 Brings to mind Annie Hall.

My former adopted hometown, Venice (the one in California, aka Venice Beach) has an interesting history too. Don't marginalize it. That would be unacceptable, possibly racist. I'm serious. Why not talk about some noteworthy American cities? Make Venice Beach great again. Body-building Mecca of the world, and a lot more (or would that be too deplorable?). A Touch of Evil was filmed there, the locations were still standing last time I visited.
*And Casino Royale (if you mean the one with David Niven, Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Orson Welles, and others) was very misunderstood and low rated. It was obviously not a Sean Connery Bond, but had its own appeal.

Death in Venice, the 1971 Visconti film based on the Thomas Mann novella, is a beautiful movie set in Venice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_in_Venice_(film), https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/6203-death-in-venice-ruinous-infatuation.

James Bond has been to Venice so many times, it boggles my mind that you would select Casino Royale as the most memorable. I personally prefer Bond's trip to Venice in Moonraker.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is what sticks in my mind when I think of Venice movie scenes.

Speaking of death in Venice, that is where Wagner died.

The movie "Wings of the Dove" gives a good feel for Venice.

#11 Movie: “Comfort of Strangers” takes place entirely in Venice and uses it as a metaphor on many levels

Can't believe someone can dislike Vivaldi

Movie with best shots of Venice: Summertime with Katherine Hepburn.

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