Trieste, Still Day 2

Self is loving this beautiful city (pop. 250,000) on the shores of the Adriatic.

She decides to try and organize her suitcase.  She opens various pockets, and out of one of them pops the room rate sheet for the Hotel Danieli, which she requested on a whim.  And here they are, dear blog readers.  Prices quoted are per night:

  • A Double DeLuxe Room is 920 euros (about $1,206)
  • A Luxury Double Room with an Inner View is 1,095 euros (about $1,435)
  • A Double DeLuxe Room with a Lagoon View is 1,295 euros (about $1,700)
  • A Luxury Double Room with a Lagoon View is 1,415 euros (about $1,855)
  • A Luxury Double Room with a Lagoon View and a Balcony is 1,515 euros (about $1,986)
  • An Executive Suite with an Inner View is 1,815 euros (about $2,379)
  • A Dandolo Suite with an Inner View is 1,965 euros (about $2,576)

The list goes on.

Needless to say, self will not be staying at the Danieli, not even if she were truly hankering to make believe she is a Princess.

She also happens upon a small book she purchased from the giftshop of the Chapel of the Scrovegni in Padua.  She must thank Margarita for making this chapel one of the required stops on their Venetian adventure.  Admission is strictly controlled:  you must purchase tickets in advance, and each group is limited to 30 minutes within the chapel itself.  Margarita and self made reservations for 5:15 p.m., and afterwards the museum curators ushered us into another set of galleries which featured the most sumptuous Medieval and Renaissance church art that self has ever beheld.

Back to the book!  Self happens upon this interesting detail:

Recently the Chapel and its decorations have been the subject of various studies and even astronomical research in order to account for the extraordinary lighting effects that have been noticed in the interior —  not withstanding the number of ancient trees outside impairing direct observation.  It has been noticed that when the sun rises it shines through the first window towards the high altar, just to the left of the painting of the Nativity, and on Christmas Day, between 10 and 11, the ray of light shining through the window completely illuminates the little door through which the Scrovegni family members entered to attend the liturgical functions.  At midday, this same bright ray illuminates the head of anyone standing on the axis of the chapel, in front of the steps of the high altar.  Furthermore, after careful calculations, beginning with the calendar in use at the time of Giotto, it has been discovered that the part of the Last Judgement depicting the donation of the Chapel to the Madonna is lit up early in the morning by a slit of light that penetrates from a small hole placed above the first window immediately to the left of the entrance door, and that this occurs on the days of the most important Marian feast days (the Birth of Mary on the 8th September and on the Annunciation, 15th August).

Isn’t that wondrous, dear blog readers?

Margarita complained that one couldn’t really see the frescoes that were higher up the walls, and on the ceiling of the chapel, which was true.  She noted that none of the guidebooks advised visitors to bring along binoculars, which several Japanese tourists in our group were quite avidly using.  But self was simply too entranced about being in the presence of such art to let a little thing like the lack of binoculars disturb her.  Seeing all the frescoes in context —  that is, on the walls of the structure for which they had originally been intended, as opposed to the walls of a museum —  was simply fabulous!

Stay tuned.

Trieste Day 2: Reading

The bookshelf is directly over her bed.

The bookshelf is directly over her bed.

The writing beckons now.  Stronger than ever.  When self is writing, she feels almost invincible.

Today, Trieste is overcast.

Self is making great headway with her book (Still the one she was reading when she arrived in Venice, almost two weeks ago:  Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses).  This book is a wonder, a narrative of truly gripping power.  At dinner in the Antico Convento last night, over pork with porcini, she read the scene with the poor old man who shows up at the farm, dressed only in a thin suit and “summer shoes,” and about the German soldiers who are after him (The book is told in flashback, and the events of World War II blend almost seamlessly into the present).  Self must have read 50 pages in the restaurant.

Afterwards, she spent the rest of the evening watching “Mississippi Burning” in Italian.

Self has decided that she will list all the books on the shelf above her bed in this little apartamento.  She may not finish listing all today, but here goes:

  • La Vie de Cézanne, by Henri Perruchot
  • Das Monstrum, by Stephen King
  • La Ragazza in Blu, by Susan Vreeland
  • L’Ombra del Vento, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Sol Levante, by Michael Crichton
  • Die folgenschwere Ermordung Ihrer Majestat Konigin Elisabeth I, by Keith Roberts
  • Maggie:  Una Ragazza Di Strada, by Stephen Crane
  • Come Fratello E Sorella, by Sandra Petrignani
  • Uscita per L’Inferno, by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D. H. Lawrence

And now, to write.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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