Day 8: From lilies to lions

Today we had Mass, early, and then journeyed by train (farewell little buses) from storied Florence to fabled Venice.

Some shots.

Panorama shots are distorted but interesting.

We went pretty much straight to lunch from the hotel.  I started with sardine in saor

… and I went on to spaghetti al nero di seppia.


I really enjoy the name of this place.

As you go through the calle e callette you will see a corner partially filled in.  This was both to keep people using it as a latrine and also to eliminate a great ambush site.

Some glass bugs, including spiders, for someone back home.

Inside the desecrated San Lorenzo, which may have held the tomb of Marco Polo.

It is used for exhibits now.

Here is a “musical” instrument which embodies everything the Church seems not to be in an appropriate location.  Lots of super tight piano wires, strung with some magnets that make them resonate according to the signals from the box with the dials and lights.  In the center is a glass resonance chamber.  It just does its mindless, but interesting, thing.

Dr. Who meets … I dunno what.

A few members of the group (some were exhausted and went home after lunch) out with a guide, a Venetian, who is a professional photographer and really knows the place.

More later.


Some shots from supper and a view from my window.

Then calle e callette to the place where we are staying. And…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ASPM Sem says:

    If you see any fellows from the NAC or SJV @ Bernardi be sure to say hello!

  2. … and I went on to spaghetti al nero di seppia.

    I’m sorry, but the first thing that leapt to mind was Klingon gagh worms.

    I hope they wiggled going down.

  3. StWinefride says:

    I have seen Venice many times from an aeroplane on the way down to Bari – must visit one day. Enjoy, Fr Z!

  4. NBW says:

    Is the bizarre torture rack looking thing an instrument of the pre-Vatican II era or post Vatican II era?

    The colorful bugs look more appealing than the spaghetti. I hope the spaghetti was tasty at least!

  5. Phil_NL says:

    Phrase of the day: Tax tibi marce, evangelista mea!

    The Venetians could be a thorn in the side of the Popes (who often overreched when it came to politics), but they sure built themselves a stunning city, and the San Marco has many byzantine jewels.

    Now if your group also manages to visit Ravenna, I’d be positively jealous! In fact, I’m afraid i am so already…

  6. Phil_NL says:

    Miss Anita Moore,

    I think the sardines look worse. They look like sick gagh.

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Phil_NL and Miss Anita Moore —

    More for me, then! Qapla’!

    Seriously, though, Korean seaweed slaw is much much worse, because you have to retrain your mouth not to expect cole slaw. With something that just looks totally different, your mouth has no expectations. And who doesn’t like sardines?

  8. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Those nighttime photos of the city – heavenly!

    I declare if I ever visited so lovely a place, nothing would induce me to leave it – ever!

  9. Lin says:

    We were in Venice last November during the floods. We stayed in Padua and took a water taxi in from the outskirts. The water was knee deep; many first floors flooded until early afternoon; and all gondola rides cancelled. We still had a wonderful time! It was the end of a 14 day pilgrimage in Italy! A pilgrimage is heaven on earth! God bless you Father Z!

  10. The Cobbler says:

    The instrument sounds interesting — assuming, that is, that they designed it to actually play music. If not it was a collosal waste of creativity. Anyway, modern technology is almost entirely based on math, and music is the most mathematical of the arts (and when you consider how much time ancient “philosophers” spent trying to use math to determine the perfect ratios for painting and sculpting, that’s saying something), so I’d be more surprised if modern tech didn’t lend itself to music somehow than if it did in weird and unexpected ways. All, again, referring to, you know, music and not just ambient metal-glass resonating noises.

    Not that any instrument more modern than the organ has any place in a church. Just ’cause I think there’s something to be said for novelties doesn’t mean I have no sense of the sacred.

  11. APX says:

    Sorry, I too thought the speghetti resembled worms or a plate of some creepy crawlers you’d see on Fear Factor.

  12. Those Nero noodles look disgusting, but then I guess if they’re a flop, the chef can always blame it on the Christians.

  13. pontiacprince says:

    Good Lord! That food looks..well…disgusting.I am sorry but it just doesn’t appeal-in any way.You must do a pilgrimage to Canada-St Joseph’s in Montreal-Shrine of the Canadian Martyrs in Midland Ontario, etc and try some real Alberta beef/Arctic char/Maritime fish dinners, etc. .and all of your pictures would be ‘delightful’..Safe trip home.

  14. pannw says:

    LOL! The fish looks yummy, though… Reminds me of a story from my college days. A friend of mine was out on a date with a very slightly older man, who had a job and all, so he took her to a very nice restaurant. She wanted to impress him, so ordered one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, not knowing really what it was. When the waiter placed the plate before her she was horrified to discover that it was a whole fish staring back at her from its dead eyes. She didn’t eat a bite and covered it with a napkin so it would stop looking at her. Needless to say, her date was absolutely NOT impressed. It was their one and only date. /fond memories.

    Continued safe travels, Father Z.

  15. Random Friar says:

    I say every Iron Chef show I see that features a cephalopod that excretes ink does pasta al nero. I guess it just adds a little bit of salt and some color, or lack thereof, depending on your chromatic view.

  16. TundraMN says:

    Spaghetti al nero di seppia = literally “Spaghetti of the black of cuttlefish”. It’s a regional dish that uses the ink of a squid-like cephalopod called a cuttlefish. Father, I know you are on the fly, but could you tell us how it tasted? I’m guessing it was a strong fish/seaweed taste but I’ve not had the opportunity to try it yet. PS. Fr. Z. feel free to email me if you want updates on the goings on in the Archdiocese. You know the one.

  17. gailcporter says:

    Your pictures are wonderful, thanks for sharing them with us. I wish there was a way your pictures of your fantastic meals showed better. Perhaps there is a special lens just for close ups of such things. You could put the lens on your “wish list.”

  18. For those who wonder what the black tastes like… it is quite delicate. You expect something strong and pungent. Instead, it is as sweet tempered and benign as myself, who also dress in black.

    Okay… squid ink is a bit sweeter and more delicate than I am.

    Truly, the flavor is surprisingly delicate.

    But if you get some on your white shirt it’s game over.

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