These Old Stones Cry Out with their Ecstasy

This past June my older daughter and I went to Venice.  My first reaction to this strange and wonderful place wasn’t dissimilar to how I felt seeing Rome for the first time — it was so much more than I expected.  More beautiful, exciting and atmospheric.  And with so many jasmine vines, it even smelled other-worldly.  This trip wasn’t just about seeing the usual sights, as Lauren is an architecture student and introduced me to the work of modernist designer and architect Carlo Scarpa.  And not only that, but we went to the art Biennalle.  And in addition, caught Damien Hirst’s enormous exhibition: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable.  It was a five day mini-break so yes, we did pack a lot into a small window of time, but we were never rushed — and as you can see from the photos, we often found we had whole spaces to ourselves.

Before our trip, we’d both read a fantastic book which is set partly in Venice circa the early 1800s by Jeanette Winterson.   The Passion is story about both the charm and darkness of Venice — its romance and allure but also its deceptions.  This is one passage that I love and captures in words what I tried to capture in my photos of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta detta I Gesuiti in the sestiere of Cannaregio.

…for a while I went into our churches because they were built from the heart.  Improbable hearts that I had never understood before.  Hearts so full of longing that these old stones still cry out with their ecstasy.  These are warm churches, built in the sun.

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