Today our group had the opportunity to take a vacation away from our vacation with today’s rain.Since our lovely professoressas were able to predict that today would be a rainy day, we canceled our original plans of visiting Burano, Murano,and Torcello and were able to get a little bit of a later start than usual and fit in some more sleep. When I gratefully awoke this morning at 8:45 I was delightfully surprised to see that it was sunny outside. I packed quickly for the day, bringing painting supplies, my scavenger hunt booklet, camera, and even sunglasses, faithful in the possibility that it may be actually be a beautiful day.
We set out to visit the restored Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli, built between 1481 and 1489 and is a beautiful example of early Venetian renaissance style architecture. Although it is smaller than some of the other magnificent churches we have visited here in Venice, there is something unique about Santa Maria dei Miracoli which is compelling. The paradox of the simplicity of its structure combined with the complexity of its marble decor allows this church to stand apart from the others. After completing a scavenger hunt of the marble art, we had the day to go about as we wished. Nicole and I had been wanting to visit the Frari church, and I was in search of warmer clothes. We had a goal for our day.
However after making it a few short blocks, the rain began to fall, and quickly progressed from a slight pattering to a torrential downpour, flooding the alleyways and forcing umbrellas to pop into the picturesque scenery like bright-colored flowers. We jumped into the stream (pun intended) of these umbrella-clad citizens hurrying to their warmer destinations. At this moment I was thanking Bryan profusely, who had a just given me his umbrella only 5 minutes prior back at Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Without a hood or anything warmer than a thin cardigan, I would have most likely come close to death from hypothermia today. Thankfully our umbrellas provided a slight degree of protection against the rain, and so we started towards Frari.
On the way to Santa Maria dei Miracoli, I had eyed a particular bakery which had amazingly tempting displays of various baked items. Nicky and I passed by this shop again andcouldn’t refuse. We eyed the lighted display of treats like a kid eyes a display of toys at Christmas. We finally decided we would split our treats- I got a pistaccio merengue, and she got an apple baklava. They were nothing shortof amazing. We also shared a standing table with an elderly local woman, who loved to talk to us in Italian. It was great fun. Even though we hardly understood a thing, she still called us intelligent and seems to really like us. What a gal.
We eventually found our way through the water, over the Rialto, and at the front of the grand Frari church. Immediately I recognized it from the pictures in class. It’s outside grandeur however wasn’t close to comparable to its inside grandeur. Words cannot describe its beauty and the intricacy of the art found inside, and so I won’t attempt to describe it, only to highly recommend you to visitit! After staying there for a good amount of time, we set out for home. Unfortunately we began victims of the infamous “Frari Triangle” and got a bit lost on our way back. We survived however by finding signs which lead us to the vaporetto. We gratefully climbed on,and in two stops we were back in our comfort zone of the Accademia.
Slosh slosh slosh, only a few more campi until we were back at Santanzolo. The wind was bearing down upon us, turning our umbrellas inside out and taking the feeling away from our hands. Finally, we had made it to Campo Stefano! Almost here now. Wait what was that delicious smell? Aww lunch. We decided, yes, of course the best thing to cure cold is warm food and beverage. We stopped at snack bar on the edge of Campo Stefano which was full to brim with Italians ordering cappuccinos and wine. We excited ordered two pizzas for lunch, and for dessert a cappuccino for me, and an espresso for Nicky. At that moment, eating the amazing warm pizza and my ears buzzing with the boisterous Italian, there was nothing which could have made me happier. We paid and hurriedly made our way back to the palazzo were we changed and settled down to relax for the rest of the afternoon.
Even though the weather tried desperately to slow us down, nothing could prevent us from having the time of our lives in Venice.