Tuesday, 22 June 2010

AmbLiN fRu d streEts o VeNiCe wE stuMBL in2 gOLdeN La Fenice

Stayed in Mestre for the night. This is the dirty industrial bit of Venice still on the mainland. Momma had found for us a fairly cheap B&B run by the Caponi Bros. Honest to God, these guys were Sicilian. No wonder I spent the whole of the day after whistling the theme tune for The Godfather.

In the evening we took a train to Venezia Santa Lucia (remember An American Wherewolf in London?). This is one of the islands of fancy Venice. Like all who come to the town first time from time immemorial we crossed the Ponte degli Scalzi. It was splendid romantic to spend the evening getting lost in the alleys of the old town with no aim in mind other than to find beautiful corners where to rest our gazes.

Venice lives up to its name as being one of the most magical and miraculous cities. It felt strangely familiar, I liked to think I was there in the 1750s barely able to breathe in my corset, the weight of my dress drenching me in sweat, while having illicit affairs in gondolas. Then the very sad realization dawned on me, it was to do with some misspent time playing Tomb Raider. We spent the whole day there just wandering aimlessly through the maze of streets. Crossing over its murky water ways, stumbling into fish markets and trying to run away from tourists...impossible.

The day after we came back to town and after a bit of wandering and wondering we walked past a theatre. On the steps, al fresco, there was a small classical concerto. We stopped to listen to the exceptionally played music. After a relaxed drink in a bar nearby we decided to see if we could visit the inside of the theatre. As we walked in, we were met by two ushers who informed us that it was only possible to visit the theatre if we were attending a show. We sighted 'ooh' but they did not stop. From an envelope to their side two tickets came out. The ushers ripped the tabs and handed the remaining two halves to us. They smiled us inside pointing to the second floor.

Shortly after we were very surprised when we found ourselves watching opera in English, sitting in one of the boxes next to the Royal Box.

This theatre, La Fenice, is not your ordinary run of the mill affair. It was originally built in 1774, burned to the ground and was reconstructed twice. It is also one of the leading opera houses and most famous theatres in Europe. Naked gold and marble ladies loosely draped in vermillion hung from every corner smiling.

The piece itself (The Turning of the Screw) was not exceptional, and although the music was good and all the performers well accomplished and professional, the storyline itself was a bit uneventful. Nonetheless, the point of the afternoon was to have lucked out so much to have entered such an exclusive place completely for free. For this we have to thank the national strike where the theatre staff, instead of aggravating their patrons, decided to open their doors to us plebs.

1 comment:

Grace said...

see, you're blessed!!xxx

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