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Dear Kay,

A week in Venice is easily one of the most disorienting, head-filling experiences I’ve had. In the words of George Harrison, it’s all too much for me to take. It was great.

In absolutely no particular order, here are things I saw and loved and keep thinking about.

We stayed at that blue circle, center left. I thought Calle dei Guardiani would be, you know, a street.

It was this. It was at this moment that I concluded I had everything wrong about what Venice was going to be.

The Venice Biennale is on, which means there are art exhibitions in grand national pavilions and, to my delight, randomly tucked away in buildings all over the city. We didn’t even make it to the main site, yet had plenty of Biennale in our own neighborhood. Most memorable: Zeng Fanzhi’s oil paintings. (A small film here.)

We randomly landed in Nigeria, Ukraine, and Armenia—and found Argentina two doors down from our building, in an impossibly hidden space.

Did not bring home a Murano chandelier but was tempted.

Upstairs at the Ateneo Veneto, a room where intellectuals have been carrying on for centuries. Who has that key?

Walton Ford’s exhibition appears in the dark, decorated space of the Ateneo Veneto. (Short movie about it here.)

On the way to Murano.

A daily bride!

Artichoke season is just beginning.

Five inches of rain in two days brought a bit of acqua alta, not common so late in spring. The canals came close to overtopping the embankments. Then receded.

Everything, everywhere, all at once.

Random doorway in Burano. His ghost is around here, for sure.

Burano, an island of fishing and lace.

At Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

On the way to Padua, she whips out a book to read. We were off to see my bucket list destination, the Scrovegni Chapel. Circa 1300. It was the most specific 15-minute timed ticket of the trip—I had exactly 15 minutes to see a chapel covered to the rafters with the tender faces of Giotto’s angels, demons, superstars of the Bible. I didn’t spend that sliver of time taking pictures. (You can see photos here. )

Twilight revealed a beautiful space inside a very old building.

A gondola workshop.

And in every campo, on a Friday night, the glow of dinner and students letting loose, and us walking slowly because we didn’t want it to end.

Maybe you’re wondering where are the textiles? I haven’t even begun to sort through all that. It’s going to take a bit, can’t wait to show you.




  • Venice is an absolute delight. We were lucky enough to visit 11 years ago. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  • We are in France for the month of May, on to Italy for June! So looking forward to Venice and all the many beautiful places Italy has to offer. We are from Santa Barbara, California.

  • We’re going tomorrow! Lovely photos, thanks for the ideas. I heard that the textile art in the Biennale are wonderful, looking forward to that. Also I’m hoping to partake in a few of the recommendations in “Textile Travels Venice” by Rebecca Devaney & Jo Andrews.

    • Yes! I used their guide, super helpful.

      • I went in grad school. Now I want to go back! Just a little jelly. I may have to break out a Donna Leon instead. This was a wonderful reminder of so much. Thank you!

      • Hello Ann,

        It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Venice and I’m delighted the Textile Travels Venice guide was useful for you! I can’t wait to see your post about the textiles, I’m still inspired after my visit with Jo Andrews last October!

  • Excellent postcards!

  • What wonderful photos. Little peeks into overlooked places. I didn’t want these photos to end.

  • My favourite city in the world! Your pics brought back many memories of wanderings around the impossibly complex streets and alleys, with vignettes and curios at every corner.

  • Thank you for sharing! It’s soooo very beautiful! If we see you wearing blue Murano teardrop earrings, we’ll know …

  • Love this sooooo much, Ann! (Especially the caption “everything everywhere all at once.). Thank you! Susy

  • What a lovely pour into the cup of life! Thanks for sharing.

  • Wow!I wish I was there with you!

  • What a lovely and thoughtful trip.! I enjoyed traveling along via your photos into all the nooks and crannies. I’m ready to follow in your footsteps.

  • Simply – what a wonderful trip!

  • Your photos left me breathless. I’ve been thinking and dreaming of Venice for decades, mostly thanks to Donna Leon, but no professional, formal photography has brought the city’s essence to me the way yours has done. Thank you!

  • Thanks for sharing your travels, it looks amazing! I always love MDK postcards.

    My daughter is doing a three year postdoc in Padua, so of course I have visited. For those traveling to Venice it is well worth a short train trip there. The Giotto frescos are spectacular and the city is lovely.

  • So delightful to see Venice through your eyes!

  • Fabulous–thank you for letting us peek!

  • Thanks
    I wanna go!

  • Lovely…I live on the Asiago high plain, about an hour or so from Venice…next time you’re in the neighborhood…

    Check out what I am up to!
    KN.IT24 The Italian knit festival, my “baby” so to speak!

    Alla prossima!

  • Did you notice the drop spindle in the Scrovegni Chapel (Scenes from the Life of Joachim Annunciation to St Anne)?

  • your post cards took my breath away. I never thought I wanted to go to Venice but now I must! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Thanks for your photos and descriptions of places I forgot about. I am refreshed and will return to my photos of Venice, Murano and Burano. How much I have forgotten of that exquisite part of our world.

  • AHHHH! Wonderful…majestic… Thanks for sharing.

  • Lovely! Venice is one of my favorite cities.

  • Glorious!!

  • So nice to see your pictures and read your story. Our stay in Venice was nothing but rain, floods, and crowds. It’s good to know that it really is beautiful.

  • The Giotto!

  • Magical. So glad you got to experience this marvelous, mysterious place. Plus Giotto!

  • Ah, La Serenissima… thank you, Ann, for this photo-souvenir!
    When I went to Italy first time I had a visitor’s visa (coming from behind the Iron Curtain) for 30 days, little hard currency and only 3 films. Venice was my first stop on my art-history-student-trip that had to include 10 important sites including Rome. I budgeted 3 days for Venice and 10-15 photos for Venice. At the end of the third day I was due to leave for Padua. There was no way I could leave this soon. Additional 2 days later, in Padua, I realized I used 33 takes out of my film of 36 and had only 2 films left for the rest of Italy… La Serenissima, you are a charmer!

  • Was in Venice for the first time in March, with my husband and 14-year-old grandson, who requested a gondola ride. Would have never gone without him asking – and it was wonderful!
    Cant wait to go back – your post and pictures are whetting my appetite. Someday.

  • Have never seen Venice in person – thanks for the quick visit! Beautiful pix!

  • Ohhh, how I’d love to return to Venice….still so much to see. Thanks for the reminder. <3

  • Great photos! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  • So glad you made it to the Scrovegni chapel! Isn’t it amazing? We were in awe the whole time. And punching ourselves that these incredible frescoes had been there for over 700 years!

  • What a great article! I loved reading this.

  • We went to Venice a couple of years ago, such a wonderful city! We stayed at a hotel right next to the opera house, Teatro La Fenice.

  • Did you see the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. I am sure you did. What a magical city it is. Thanks for sharing. It was one of the best trips we ever took with our daughter.

  • We just went for a week as well! The Fortuny Museum was a new find and well worth it!

  • Your report of the Vienna visit makes me want to get on a plane right this minute. Thank you for the lovely virtual visit❣️

  • Oh!! No words can describe your wonderful soliloquy of photos.

  • Beautiful photos, it’s like a 5 minute trip to this beautiful city!

  • We were there on our honeymoon and the piazza was so full of water they had folding tables set out for us to walk on!

  • Venice is like Disneyland for adults.

    Everyone says the light in Venice is so special – rained the whole time we were there so I have to go back (still an amazing place). We also went to Florence, saw the David – covered in scaffolding so I have to go back there too to see it all properly.

  • Wow!

  • I love the Scrovegni Chapel! My visit there was the first time I felt like I could begin to understand Giotto. Thank you so much for this posting – it was a treat and shook loose memories.

    Thank you

  • Oh my! So much to dream about. Can’t wait for the textile sequel.

  • How lovely, Venice is on my bucket list as a special place to visit.

  • I do love that book!

  • Isn’t Venice a beautiful city? We made the same train trip to Padua to see that chapel…and continued on to Florence; another gorgeous city. Thanks for sharing!

  • Absolutely gorgeous travelogue, Ann. Your writing is stellar, and the photos sublime. Grazie!!

  • What a wonderful adventure! Everywhere you look is inspiration! Thank you for sharing with us.

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