The Taking Venice manuscript is 12,000 words longer, we’ve identified the main venues where Catarina’s story unfolds, and have imbibed as much of the city’s magic as possible. We squint just a little to block out short-clad tourists, and we’re in the Venice of the early 1500’s. Little has changed since Catarina d’Armano walked these narrow calles and rode the gondolas of the day on the winding canals of La Serenissima. Click on photos to enlarge.
We’ve identified Ca’Molin, the palazzo of her wealthy Uncle Uberto and Cousin Donata, freedom-loving Catarina’s Venetian prison.
We’ve visited again Venice’s most beautiful church, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, and stood beneath the miraculous painting to which Donata prays for healing. It’s here that Catarina meets the too-gorgeous Maffeo Sanuto for the first time.
We’ve followed winding calles to the palazzo of Silvia Bollani, famous poet and ‘cortigiana honesta’ (respectable courtesan), who takes Catarina under her wing.
We’ve sought out paintings by Venice’s divine Giovanni Bellini (for whom Tomasso is apprentice), at the Academia Museum and Venice’s churches, including my favorite, and Catarina’s, his Madonna and Child at the Church of the Frari.
We’ve eaten gelato in the piazza where Catarina sketches the church of San Giovanni e Paolo, in the hope that Maffeo will happen by.
We’ve scoped out the Arsenale, the navel shipyard where Venice’s workers could turn out a warship a day, and where Tomasso made the sketches that were his downfall.
We’ve viewed elaborate gowns worn by glittering Venetian beauties.
We’ve travelled up the Brenta River to find the d’Armano country estate, gambled away by Catarina’s father.
Of course we’ve been as awed as Catarina was, gazing up at the hundreds of mosaics that glitter in the domes of the Basilica di San Marco.
IMG_1195So hard to leave. Only the lure of the next adventure eases our departing. Click on the link to see a video of our last views of Venice.
On to MOSCOW!