I love Venice, and could totally see myself living here, if I had my animals and my books and good internet access. I love the human scale of it, although I might get tired of the crowds, and it might not seem so delightful in prolongued bad weather.
Anyway, my last few days have been busy. On Friday, I finally went to St Mark's basilica, and am glad I saved it till almost last, because it's sublime. I can only imagine the effect in natural light, and candles, as seen when it was first built. If you go, pay the extra money to go up on the "balcony," because it's totally worth it for the museum with the real horses and other things, for the close-up view of the dome, and the great views from the top.
The extra money for the altar screen is also completely worth it - not just for the gold and jewels (with bigger, better jewels for the more important people), but for the lines of saints in impeccably detailed cloissone, all with their sideways "I've got a secret" smiles. Quite honestly, I wouldn't bother with the treasure, unless you have a thing for reliquaries.
In the afternoon, I made one of my private, quixotic literary pilgrimages to San Servolo; those familiar with either Jeanette Winterson or Shelley's "Julian and Maddallo" (or both or the connections between them as in my case), will understand, and understand, too, why I took this photo of a rose.
That night, there was a honking big thunder storm, almost all night long, which meant that I didn't get much sleep. It was still pouring with rain in the morning. Nevertheless, I decided to risk it and head off for Verona - another quixotic personal pilgrimage, searching for Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet, which I did not fine, but enjoyed the trip in any case.
Verona is "fair," as Shakespeare describes it
I avoided all of the manifestations of "Juliet's Balcony" and "Juliet's Grave," but did enjoy the Castelvecchio, which afforded lovely views of the city. I think the pigeons followed me there.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do in my last two days. It's very hot today, and I feel like taking it easy, so I think I may just loll about in my flat and eat gelato and watch the people in San Marco. I should probably go to Florian's cafe at least once, even paying the steep cover charge for a seat. And likewise tomorrow - I think I may just wander around, taking a few more photographs of charming views, and maybe go back to the basilica in the afternoon to see what it looks like in different light.