It was La Fenice gave me two of the most memorable moments of my 2007 stay in Venice.
Trying to read a Venetian street map is like trying to find your way through a moveable maze (but I suspect more fun). Every calle leads to another more intriguing than the next, until you forget where you really want to go, and don’t much care where you end up. On this particular day I wanted to find La Fenice. Having read John Berendt’s book “City Falling Angels” I had to see this wonderful theatre for myself. In Milan I just had to find La Scala and felt disappointed, but in Venice there is a magic and mystery about La Fenice that La Scala , for all its history doesn’t seem to have, my only regret was that I didn’t get to see the wonderful restoration work inside – so this is on the top of my list of things to see this year.
Back to the story. Hopeless with maps I needed to ask for directions and found a shop where the proprietress handmade capes and handbags for Carnivale. How lucky was I to find someone who had also read Berendt’s book (in English first and then in Italian just to make sure he told to story properly)! For me it was a little bit of serendipity. But then again Venice is, I think, a city where serendipity happens. I found La Fenice and on the way back to Rialto just happened to find in a deconsecrated church an exhibition about Vivaldi and his music and historic musical instruments.
So there I was having ‘found’ La Fenice experiencing a Vivaldi moment – my soul just sang!!!