Category Archives: Italy

Piazzetta di San Marco

Piazzetta San Marco

Photo: S. Cole

Where: Venice, Italy.

The Piazzetta di San Marco is the little brother contiguous to and just south of one of the most-photographed, painted and selfied public spaces in the world – the Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square. Next to the lagoon for those familiar, the Piazzetta occupies an enviable space between the Doge’s Palace and the Biblioteca Marciana, or the National Library of St. Mark’s.

Photographed here from the balcony of St. Mark’s Basilica, we see the two columns that originally marked the entrance to Venice seaside. Erected around 1268, they honor the patron saints of Venice, St. Mark on the left (the winged lion is hard to miss) and St. Theodore on the right, patron saint to Venice before Mark and his lion rode metaphorically into town.

The magnificent, arcaded building on the left is the Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale. This was the principal residence for more than one thousand years of the senior-most elected official and chief magistrate of Venice. Built and rebuilt since 810, it has operated as a museum since 1923.

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“Bacco e Arianna” by Luca Giordano

Where: The Castelvecchio in Verona, Italy.

Bacco e Arianna

Photo: S. Cole

I found this painting hanging in the Castelvecchio in Verona, Italy, depicting the Greek myth of Bacchus and Ariadne. Luca Giordano (1632-1705) was a prolific Italian painter with a speedy hand, earning him the somewhat ungracious nickname of “Thunderbolt.”

The Castelvecchio is a beautifully preserved castle for touring with an interior art museum that surprises. Don’t miss its many artifacts of the age, including armor, spears and other implements of castle defense.