Venice from Above By Val de Furrentes

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Best memories of Venice are back!

About 12 years ago I started a little series of guest posts by Venice lovers, called Best Memories of Venice, asking people to tell me about their best memory of Venice: that particular moment which made it impossible to forget our wonderful city!
From famous writers to Venetophiles, from travel bloggers to journalists: the posts kept coming in.
Today British art historian and photographer Val de Furrentes, author of Venice in Transition, sent me her story and here I am sharing it with you! You can follow Val on her blog.
If you too want to share with my readers your best memory of Venice, that instant when you fell in love with the city, please feel free: just send me your story and some photos!
I will be happy to share it here on my blog!
But let’s hear it from Val:

My best memory of Venice by Val De Furrentes

 

I have many, many happy memories of Venice, but one that lingers is the recollection of what happened when I was staying in the north of the city at Palazzo Contarini della Porta di Ferro in Castello.

 

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes best memory of venice

Photo by Val de Furrentes

 

 

From my window I could see the bell tower of San Francesco della Vigna, one of Venice’s tallest, built in the late 16th century and modelled after the one in St Mark’s Square.

Eager to know more, I went to the monastery and began to shoot pictures to add to my photographic archive.

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes best memory of venice

Photo by Val de Furrentes

 

I’d been there about for an hour when a man approached me and asked if I’d like to take photographs from the top of the campanile.  He went on to explain that the tower was not open to the public because it was dangerous, but he could ask for permission on my behalf.  Within a few minutes he returned with a Franciscan monk who opened the heavy door at the base of the tower with a large key.

 

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes best memory of venice

Photo by Val de Furrentes

 

We entered a cluttered gloomy space and started our journey up the brick staircase.  Stone steps projected from the walls, leaving a dark central shaft without railings.  I climbed carefully, retaining my balance by keeping in touch with the walls, while gingerly stepping around the gulls’ nests at our feet.

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes best memory of venice

Photo by Val de Furrentes

It was with a sense of relief when we emerged from the shadows into the strong sunlight flooding the belfry.  From the large arched openings beneath the bell chamber I could see in every direction.  To the North I could see the cruise ships on the lagoon against the backdrop of the port of Mestre.  Nearby I caught sight of the Powder House and the abandoned warehouses of the Arsenale.

 

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes

Photo by Val de Furrentes

 

In the distant panorama I recognised the onion dome of Sant’ Antonin, the leaning bell tower of San Giorgio dei Greci, and Il Redentore on the island of Giudecca.  Directly below, the wild vegetation of the abandoned 1920s gasometers sat incongruously next to the tidy patchwork of the monastery gardens.

 

 

Photo by Val de Furrentes

Photo by Val de Furrentes


I’m so glad I have the photographs to remind me of that extraordinary day – otherwise I might think it had all been a dream.

 

Thank you Val for sharing your wonderful experience!

Did you fall in love with Venice too? Would you like to share you experience?

Send me a message to info@monicacesarato.com, I will be more than happy to publish your story on my blog!

#venice #veniceblog #veniceblogger

 

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1 Response
  • Jon
    February 27, 2022

    Lost one nigt in the laberinthts of the Dorsodouro, I suddenly appeared on the Zattere with a thick fog that would only let me see 2 or 3 blurred lamps ahead, and nothing else. Magical.

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