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Monday, 9 September 2013

Exhausted in Venice

Thursday, September 9th., Hotel Britannia, Venice.

The Hotel Britannia, Venice, was the result of the joining of five 18th and 19th century palaces. The oldest palace belonged to theTiepolos, the illustrious Venetian family that gave the city two "doges" and the seventeenth century painter Giambattista Tiepolo. By the 19th century Palazzo Tiepolo and the buildings that face the lovely courtyard on the Grand Canal had already been converted into a hotel. Initially operated under the name Hotel Barbesi (1868), it was later known as the Hotel Britannia (1881). The owner and manager was a gentleman named Carlo Walther. During the autumn of 1908 it was here that the celebrated Impressionist painter Claude Monet stayed - a long visit in which he made the most of his talent with the magnificent views that the hotel offered. In a letter, dated October 16th, 1908, Mme. Monet wrote: "We have finally arrived at the Hotel Britannia, with a view, if such a thing were possible, even more beautiful than that of Palazzo Barbaro..."

A heavy day. After buying sandwiches, etc. we went off in a launch to Torcello, calling on the way home at Burano. Torcello church is exceedingly fine as to the interior, and the adjoining church interesting as an exterior. There are some low reliefs of animals in the former which are lovely, but, as they were not mentioned in the guide-book, of course we could not guess the period with any accuracy. Tourists would be most uncomfortably helpless without guide-books.  

Burano is the lace place. The women work in the doorways of the houses, over coloured paper upon which the pattern is printed or carboned. We saw one old hag with her hair hanging down; she was doing nothing. Portraits of Il Duce on all the walls. The launch had a deck-house with flowers and hand-mirror, and was quite nice. Two hands, both very charming. We dismissed the launch at the Lido, and saw Mason, and had tea there, and we then came home with him. Both of us completely exhausted by a long day out, we got home broken at 11. No sooner was I in bed than my mosquito canopy fell down and the wooden frame gave me a good crack on the head.

Additionally for September 9th., see 'On keeping very busy' - http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/on-keeping-very-busy.html

I can always do more work when I have many other things on hand, and when I am following a programme that is rather a tight fit for the day.

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