Dec
24

Picture this

By
This is the Scalzi Bridge, linking the fondamenta of the train station to the fondamenta of the rest of Venice.  Today we know it as a gracefully arched marble bridge, but from the mid-1800s to the early 1930s, the bridge looked like this.  (as did the Accademia Bridge).

This is the Scalzi Bridge, linking the fondamenta of the train station (left)  to the fondamenta of the rest of Venice. Today we know the bridge as a graceful marble arch, but from the mid-1800s to the early 1930s, the bridge looked like this (as did the Accademia Bridge).

Now here is something different you can do on Christmas afternoon, if you’re not watching football and your family has allowed you to live. You can look at oldish photographs of Venice.

Not quite as old as the photograph above, but the last 50 years has produced an immense trove — some 80,000 images — of places all around Venice, and some 7,000 of those are now online. They belong to the Urban Photographic Archive of Venice.

These photographs weren’t made for any aesthetic reason, but as sturdy visual records of all sorts of projects, restoration, maintenance, new public works, and so on. Prose, not poetry.

In case anyone imagined that Venice has been encapsulated by time, like the proverbial black spitting thick tail scorpion in amber, a random scan of these pictures will show how much change has been going on here since the Sixties.

So go have a look at the Album di Venezia, click on the red words in the center that say “Archivio Fotografico Urbanistica Online,” and on the page that comes up, click on the red rectangle that says “Sfoglia l’album,” and go to it.  As per frequently, there is no English translation.  So working out the words ought to amuse you for a little while.

By then it will be time for another piece of pie, and you’ll have something to talk about that doesn’t involve pigskin.

 

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Categories : History

Comments

  1. John Flint says:

    Well, the Christmas-New Year period will certainly not be boring with this feast of Venice Past before us, courtesy of the Photographic Archive. Thanks, Erla, and welcome ?home? This dwelling of ours being a football-free precinct, whatever the code, we were a little stumped at first by the reference to pigskin. In any case, if one were to tune in to a sports channel here, it would be Australia versus India at Test Cricket, the pace of which allows one simultaneously to have a leisurely conversation, visit the kitchen for refreshments, take a nap, get on with personal projects, or survey the Photographic Archive, without losing the thread of the game. Much more civilized than any pigskin punting.

  2. Yvonne says:

    What a gift you have given us, Ms. Erla.

    Although I’m not a cricket fanatic like Ralph, I’m sure I can find plenty of things to interrupt or ignore (dusting springs to mind), to prowl through these archives.

    Thank you, and Buone Feste, even though one of these is already gone forever.

  3. Anna says:

    Welcome back and I have been feasting on the archive. Thank you for the link.

  4. Grazie Erla, bellissimo! If you perform a Cerca with the words Piscina Zattere you’ll see pictures of the Passoni Swimming Pool at the Zattere, in the waters of the Canale della Giudecca, where we used to go to swimm until 1970! Famous was the Pallavolo team, one of the best in Italy, led by Stefano Falchetta, later director of the Hotel Association of Venice (AVA) and still very athletically roaming in Santo Stefano wherehe lives.

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