Venice

70 percent of Venice covered in water by flooding by Marco Secchi

Around three-quarters of the Italian lagoon city of Venice has been flooded after strong winds raised the water level by 156 centimeters (nearly 61-1/2 inches) before receding, officials said Monday.

Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s levels were exceptional. The peak level was the highest reached since December 2008, according to Venice statistics. The last time levels topped 160 centimeters, which had been forecast, was in December 1979.

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The public transport company closed the water taxi service due to the emergency, with connections remaining active only to the outlying islands. The city, built on a series of islands, deals with the high water by erecting a series of risers that permit people to circulate by foot. Residents and businesses typically reinforce doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering bottom floors.

Venice Photo Tour On the Steps of Canaletto by Marco Secchi

Giovanni Antonio Canal, alias Canaletto, was a painter and engraver who lived in Venice in the 18th century; he is world-famous for his wonderful views of Venice.

Topography, architecture, nature, atmosphere and lights are all mingled in his masterpieces creating realistic scenarios and authentic testimonials of the life and architecture of his time.

This itinerary propose the same places that Canaletto depicted in his works taking the participant to look at each location from the same angulation as if he/she were looking through Canaletto’s own eyes, searching for the differences between the 18th century Venetian landscape and today’s landscape as well as for what has remained unvaried since Canaletto’s time.

Le grand guide de Venise - sur les pas de Guardi et Canaletto 

Guardi, Canaletto et autres artistes du XVIIIe siècle se sont attachés à peindre toutes les facettes de leur ville. Près de trois siècles plus tard, Alain Vircondelet, un des plus grands historiens de Venise,  avec photographe Marco Secchi  s'adonne à une comparaison passionnante entre les photos de la ville d'aujourd'hui et les tableaux de celle d'hier. Douze circuits sont ainsi proposés au lecteur et commentés par l'auteur.

Un guide de Venise passionnant en pleine actualité de l'exposition dédiée à Canaletto au Musée Maillol.

The book is for sale with Amazon

Bigoli in Salsa by Marco Secchi

For this dish, the pasta is all important. Originally made with duck eggs and buckwheat flour (these days, wholewheat flour and chicken eggs), Why is the pasta so important? Every pasta in Italy is shaped to serve a purpose, and in this case the pasta has a spaghetti-like length Final Touches Are Put  To Boats And Costumes A...and shape, but with a coarse rather than smooth exterior. The texture of this pasta allows more sauce to ‘stick’ to the pasta, so the pasta is generally used when you have a pasta sauce with a gravy-like consistency.The following recipe come from Vini da Gigio ....but this is another story....

Ingredients (serves 2) 250g Bigoli pasta 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 8 anchovy fillets or Sarde 1 medium red onion, chopped finely 1 good bunch of Italian parsley, chopped finely Salt and pepper

Directions 1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta. Add a tablespoon of good salt. 2. In a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, add the olive oil, the anchovies and the onion. 3. Stir the mix, helping to break down the anchovies. This should take around 10 minutes. 4. When you have a thick gravy, the sauce is ready, so put your pasta on. 5. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix through most of the parsley and serve. Add a little parsley on top to make it pretty. Season and add more olive oil if you wish and enjoy with a medium to full bodied white wine.

S Maria della Pieta' o della Visitazione (XVIII sec.) by Marco Secchi

While on the trail of Canaletto I "discovered" la Pieta' .First foundation was of the fifteenth century but its actual aspect is due to architect Massari who completely rebuilt it in the 1745.The facade has a classical style, with a bas-relief above the main entrance representing the La Carità, a work by the sculptor Marsili (1800).

CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLA PIET� O DELLA VISITAZIONE (XVIII sec.)..Santa Maria AssuntaFirst fondation was of the fifteenth century but its actual aspect is due to architect Massari who completely rebuilt it in the 1745..The facade has a classical style, with a bas-relief above the main entrance representing the La Carità, a work by the sculptor Marsili (1800)..Church has a egg-shaped plan with a vaulted ceiling; sideways there're two choirs where once were played concerts by the woman whom used to live in the institute that stands from the side..Church has an absolute importance becouse of the presence of Gian Battista Tiepolo's works, the Fortezza e la Pace on the ceiling of the entry and the Trionfo delle Fede painted on the ceiling of the church, a real masterpiece by Tiepolo representing the crowning of Our Lady by the God's hand. i ....© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

A few images from today shoot are here

The Church has a egg-shaped plan with a vaulted ceiling; sideways there're two choirs where once were played concerts by the woman whom used to live in the institute that stands from the side.Church has an absolute importance because of the presence of Gian Battista Tiepolo's works, the Fortezza e la Pace on the ceiling of the entry and the Trionfo delle Fede painted on the ceiling of the church, a real masterpiece by Tiepolo representing the crowning of Our Lady by the God's hand.

America's Cup in Venice by Marco Secchi

Venice 10th May 2012 America's Cup  World series . Teams test their boats  in St Mark's basin..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in Venice at (+39) 41963 7374 or London +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)Finally today with few of my Venetians colleagues managed to get a glimpse of few of the boats of the America's Cup .

The AC45, a rigid wingsail catamaran, is the precursor of a new generation of America’s Cup boats.

Able to reach speeds of around 50 km per hour, the AC45 is also agile enough to guarantee tactical and competitive races, such as those to be “designed” by the America’s Cup Race Management.

Carpaccio at Scuola S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni by Marco Secchi

While working 24/7 on a book about Canaletto...and being only at the 2 chapter out of 9 and well behind schedule  I fell in love today with Carpaccio and in particular with this painting

The works dates to Carpaccio's mature period, when he was called by the "scuola" (guild or corporation) of the Schiavoni (Dalmatians) to executed a cycle of seven paintings on the stories of patron saints (George, Jerome and Tryphon) and evangelic episodes.

The work portrays the traditional episode of St. Jerome appearing to St. Augustine to announce his imminent death and departure to Heaven. Carpaccio portrayed the African saint in his studio, in the moment in which he is distracted from his reading by the voice of Jerome, coming as a luminous shape in the window near the desk. The room is that typical of an acculturated humanist of the painter's age, depicted with his usual attention to details.

The room is grossly rectangular, with a painted ceiling. Augustine sits on a bench over a pad, covered with green cloth and lined with studs; the desk is supported by a candelabrum. Some of the books show musical lines. Under the window is are a file and a hourglass. Other elements depicted include measurement instruments, precious caskets, a bell, a shell, an armillary sphere, vases, bottles and others.

In the center is a niche with an altar, where, as shown by the curtain moved aside, are Augustine's liturgic objects: a vest, a mitre, the crosier and a thurible which hands from two candelabra. At the side of the altars are two twin portals, with fine decorations in Renaissance style. The left one is open, and shows a small room with a window, according to the taste for different lightning sources inspired by the Flemish painting: this had become popular in Venice after its use by Antonello da Messina in paintings such as St. Jerome in His Study, which Carpaccio could perhaps observe and study. Here is a further number of details: a table with three couples of crossed legs and covered by a red tablecloth, further books, and, on a shelf running for the room's perimeter, several scientific and astronomical instruments, including Regiomontanus' astrolabe which, at the time, was owned only by John Bessarion, to who it is likely to have inspired Carpaccio for the saint's representation.

On the left two long shelves, housing more books with gaudy covers, a series of antiques (vases, bronze and others), a candle basement shaped as a lion paw (another is placed symmetrically on the opposite wall) and, below, large volumes, a seat and a prie-dieu. In the center of the room is a Maltese dog and, nearby, a cartouche with the artist's signature and the date.

Seeing this painting reminded me that I saw at the British Museum the preparatory work of the very same painting...and is here as you may see there was and ermelin!

Urs Fisher at Palazzo Grassi by Marco Secchi

It’s named after a mysterious Madame Fisscher the exhibition dedicated to Urs Fischer, which is set to open at Palazzo Grassi - François Pinault

Venice 13th April 2012 Press Preview with Francoise Pinault of the Exhibition Madame Fisscher by one of the most important and influential contemporary sculptors Urs Fisher (Marco Secchi msecchi@gmail.com) (Marco Secchi)

 

Using his witty sense of humor, Zurich artist Urs Fischer invites us into his chaotic London studio which, ironically, has also got a name: Madame Fisscher. Clearly we are talking about a work of art and Madame Fisscher is simply a fictional character made up by the artist.

Curated by Fischer himself alongside Caroline Bourgeois and hosted at Palazzo Grassi between April 15th and July 15, the exhibition named after this mysterious lady is very likely to play tricks on our senses.

Risotto di bruscandoli - Hop Shoots Risotto by Marco Secchi

This is a very old recipe from the Venetian countryside!“Bruscandoli” are the end tips of the hop plants. This plant can be found easily in the Venetian countryside. This risotto can only be made during April since this is the time when the hop shoots. During the month of April the vegetable stalls of Rialto Bridge are full of these plants.

This is a very old recipe from the Venetian countryside (feel free to substitute the shoots with any other sort of root or shoot you like).

Ingredients: a big bunch of bruscandoli (hop shoots) about 300 gr, 300 gr. Rice Vialone Nano or Arborio, ½ an onion, 1 lt. Broth, a bit of butter, 1/2/ glass of wine, olive oil.

First of all rinse and chop in small pieces the hop shoots. Then sauté for few minutes in a large pan with a little bit of oil. Remove from eat.

Now place the butter in a sauce pan and melt it. Add the rice, sauté for a minute, add the wine and sauté then add the shoots and a bit of the broth. Stir and slowly start adding the the broth waiting every time for it to be absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring the rice until it is cooked through. Turn the heat off, add a little bit of butter and a good spoonful of parmisan.

Serve hot. This risotto must not be dry, but at the contrary quite smooth

Wax portraits at Fortuny by Marco Secchi

The world’s first exhibition on wax portraits will analyse a field that has been studied very little by art historians: that of life-size wax figures. This fascinating subject has recently attracted the attention of numerous contemporary artists, but has never had a specific exhibition devoted to it.VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 09:  Few portraits of criminals modelled in the late 19th century by Lorenzo Tenchini, a pupil of Cesare Lombroso are seen at the press preview of "Avere Una Bella Cera - Wax Portraits Exhibition" at Palazzo Fortuny on March 9, 2012 in Venice, Italy.   The exhibition open until June 25 is the world's first exhibition on wax portraits analizing a field that has been studied very little by art historians. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The project was inspired by two fortunate coincidences, the existence of a series of life- size wax portraits in Venice’s public collections and churches, and the centenary of the publication of Geschichte der Porträtbildnerei in Wachs (“History of Portraiture in Wax”), written by the famous Viennese art historian Julius von Schlosser and the first work devoted to the history of wax portraits. A superb Italian translation of Schlosser’s work by Andrea Daninos has recently been published, complete with an extensive and detailed critical commentary.

The Venetian exhibition is the outcome of more than three years of research and, for the first time, it brings together nearly all of the extant sculptures in Italy, most of which unpublished or never displayed before.

Volo dell'Angelo or Flight of the Angel by Marco Secchi

The Flight of the Angel is an event usually held on Shrove Thursday of Carnival (grasso) this has its roots due to an event that happened in the mid 16th century. In those years, during various exhibitions, a Turkish acrobat did something that stupefied the Venetians.With the only aid of a pole he walked on a rope from a boat tied in Riva degli Schiavoni to the top of St. Mark’s Tower and then from the tower to the Doges Palaces balcony, as a tribute to the doge.A Venetian girl performs as 'Colombina' during the Volo dell'Angelo, as she flies down from San Marco Tower to the square during the official opening of Venice Carnival (Marco Secchi)

A Venetian girl performs as 'Colombina' during the Volo dell'Angelo, as she flies down from San Marco Tower to the square during the official opening of Venice Carnival (Marco Secchi)

The exhibition changed its name and became “The Flight of the Turk”, it has been held every year with various changes, first it was made only by professional acrobats and lately by common people that wanted to show their ability and bravery.

The exhibition name changed into “The Flight of the Angel” when for the first time an acrobat dressed with angel wings tied to a rope was let down the tower, at the end of the descent the doge himself gave the angel impersonator a gift.

The event changed its name again into “Volo della Colombina” (“The Flight of the dove”) starting from 1759. In that year the acrobat dressed as the angel fell down over  the horrified crowd.Since then a wooden dove substitute the men.After the fall of the Republic the event was banned (as many other traditions) until recent times.

Starting from 2001 “The flight of the Dove” become again “The Flight of the Angel” with the reintroduction of a real person instead of the wooden dove, staging the old ritual of the homage of the  sceptre to the Doge. This announced the beginning of the Carnival of Venice with a triumph of confetti and coloured air balloons. The event is now held on the week-end previous to Shrove Thursday and marks the beginning of the festivities.

Queen Elizabeth II marks 60 years on throne by Marco Secchi

TODAY marks 60 years since a quietly spoken 25-year-old princess named Elizabeth became the British .

While visiting Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip, en route Down Under, Elizabeth received news on February 6, 1952 that her father, King George VI, had died. I believe she has visited Venice in 1961 and in 1984.The following is HM The Queen official message.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the WIndsor Horse Show, May 2006 (Marco Secchi)

Today, as I mark 60 years of your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.

I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.

I send my sincere good wishes to you all.

ELIZABETH R.

Pantegana - Cerco info! by Marco Secchi

C'e' qualche buona anima che mi sa dare informazioni su questa incisione su una delle colonnein Calle del Traghetto a Cannaregio - Strada Nuova??Cerco qualche dettaglio o storia.......non mi basta sentirmi dire...tratasi di pantegana.....in cambio offro Spritz o ombretta in uno dei locali qui in elenco

Rosemary (Colours of the lagoon) by Marco Secchi

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea" because in many locations it needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live.Venice Laguna Nord Murano Burano Torcello, S Ariano San Francesco al Deserto..HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call our offices in London   +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.© MARCO SECCHI (Marco Secchi)

Rosemary plant growing  on the Island of Santa Cristina

Baked Mackerel with Rosemary

The ingredients for two people are: 2 mackerels  1 garlic clove, 1 lemon, and 2 big fresh rosemary branches.

Cut the lemon in half, thinly slice the garlic and wash the rosemary branches.Now you need to clean the mackerels: You can cut the belly such that you can remove the entrails. Wash the fish well removing all the remains of the entrails otherwise the meat could get an unpleasant sour taste.

Once they have been rinsed, dry them well outside and inside so that there is no water left. Then  place some garlic slices and one rosemary branch inside the mackerel’s belly cavity.

Make two rectangles of aluminium foil and place the fish on one of them,  squeeze the lemon juice inside and on the mackerel, then folds the foil over the fish.

Lastly, bake the fish at 200 °C (390 °F) for 20-25 minutes.

Stop dreaming, Start flying by Marco Secchi

VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 10:

Paradise and Hell panels by Hieronymus Bosch on display in the Tribuna room at Palazzo Grimani on January 10, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The  exhibition will stay open until 20th March 2011

Hieronymus Bosch born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken c. 1450 – August 9, 1516 was an Early Netherlandish painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives

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