Here's my original Venice fest wrap, and a tourist's photo gallery.
I spent several evenings wandering around Venice (and had one fab cuttlefish with black squid ink dinner), and one lovely day, when I visited the Arsenale Biennale, a sprawling architecture show like an Expo with pavilions for each country. The British pavilion, for example, featured an exhibit based around critic John Ruskin's hand-drawn drawings in notebooks on Venice. The Swiss pavilion addressed viaducts and bridges. The Danes focused on how to redesign the structures of green cities in the future around a metro line with spokes, instead of a city center.
My pal Julia Chasman and I sprang for a gondola ride, which was well worth it: the gondolier out of central casting smoothly ducked under bridges with 20 years of practice and called out when he rounded corners. It felt like being in Shakespeare's time, quietly sliding past ancient rotted wooden doors, Don Juan's mansion, and Marco Polo's house. In one smelly part of the canal, I saw a bobbing human turd. The Venicians are appalled at the idea of anyone touching the blue/green water that laps up against the end of narrow streets. One night I almost stepped into the drink.
Venice in the daytime:
Venice in the evening:
The Venice Fest on the Lido:
It started to pour the morning I left town, but I grabbed this shot of the lagoons from the air: