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Arts & Culture

Serene in Venice

Yes, that handsome chap in the ruff collar is me. Let me assure you that’s not how I’m dressing most of the time here in Venice, but as the KUHF arts tour group members went to one of the famous Carnevale balls yesterday evening, mask and costume were obligatory. I chose this little number and now understand why ruff collars died out as a fashion statement a long time ago!

It’s been a real whirlwind experience since arriving in Venice Saturday.  This city is all history and at times it creates almost a sensory overload since every corner turned presents a fantastic new vista and an incredible journey back in time.
Yesterday we took a walk to the Scuola di San Rocco, an ancient Venetian confraternity dating back centuries (a sort of early form of the Rotary Club).  The ornate building that serves to this day as the Scuola’s headquarters took many decades to build, but the results are unbelievable.  The interior spaces are decorated almost entirely by huge frescoes by Tintoretto, one of Venice’s most famous sons.  The effect is one of luxury and magnificence.
Today we took a walking tour of “18th-century Venice” and visited palazzi and other spaces dating from the Venetian republic’s final decades when the “decadence” of the ruling noble class created a void in government that made it easy for Napoleon to threaten Venice in 1793; the result was that the Venetians gave in to him and that was the end of La Serenissima.
This evening we went to the famous La Fenice, the Venice opera house, for a concert of Mozart’s entire output of music for piano 4 hands.  There was a large and very appreciative audience in the house, and we were surprised to find out that one of the pianists, Gustavo Romero, is on the piano faculty at the University of North Texas.
Tomorrow we study the architecture of Venice.
Check the KUHF Facebook page for more of my Venice photos.