Archive for San Francesco di Paola

Sep
17

First day of school

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The table is set up at this corner because the children turn right here to get to the elementary school

The table is set up at this corner because the children turn right here to get to the elementary school.

Yesterday, Sept. 16, was the first day of school.  Nobody was happy, of course, even though the Veneto, along with Puglia, was the region that started school the latest (Alto Adige began on Sept. 7, but they have German DNA).

I’ve never investigated the reasons why the whole country doesn’t start school on the same day, and starting on a Wednesday seems odd, or at least asymmetrical, to me.  Then again, some of the post offices in Venice open at 8:15, and some open at 8:25.  Anyone for 8:00?  Certainly not.  To each his own symmetry, I guess.

This little sprite was in another neighborhood, heading off for her excellent adventure complete with backpack, mother, and grandmother.

This little sprite was in another neighborhood, heading off for her excellent adventure complete with backpack, mother, and grandmother.

This year, as in the past few, the neighborhood old people’s group (literal translation of “gruppo anziani“) organized a wonderful send-off to the littlest scholars to launch them into their first real day of school ever (they will already have had nursery school, but this time it’s serious). We didn’t stay to watch because we had to be somewhere else, but I have no doubt that, as before, each child was given a bag of presents — school supplies could qualify, as long as they’ve got that new-car smell — and given a heartfelt exhortation, and a warm round of applause.

But what was new this year was the sign they put up on the backdrop, the wall of the church of San Francesco di Paola.  We discovered it toward evening, and this morning it was gone.  I’d like to think that the wall will retain the warmth of the poster for quite a while yet.

"Viva' is short for "Evviva," which is a cry of joy and acclaim. I always think of it as "Long live" the whatever-comes-next. It is sometimes abbreviated to a big "W" (two V's, naturally).

“Viva’ is short for “Evviva,” which is a cry of joy and acclaim. I always think of it as “Long live” the whatever-comes-next. It is sometimes abbreviated to a big “W” (two V’s, naturally).

"Long live school, Long live culture, Long live all the children in the world."

“Long live school, Long live culture, Long live all the children in the world.”

 

 

 

Categories : Venetian-ness
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Jun
01

Rowing Mary home

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Once again, May has come to an end (you needed me to tell you that) and we closed the 31st in the usual way, by joining the annual procession which accompanies the statue of the Madonna and Jesus from the church of San Pietro di Castello to her home base in the church of San Francesco di Paola. Even though, technically speaking, the feast of Maria Ausiliatrice is May 24, here it’s on May 31.

One small improvement in the modest lineup of boats that usually forms her escort was that Lino suggested we row a caorlina, which is noticeably bigger than the modest little mascareta we usually use.  In this way, we could set up folding chairs in the boat and carry people who might have wanted to participate by floating rather than by walking.

Weather good.  Crowd large and earnest.  Not as many people watching from the windows as there have been in some years, but perhaps there were more on the ground.

The loudspeaker wasn’t too capricious (a plus), but for some reason the priest chose a couple of everyday hymns as part of the event, completely ignoring the hymn associated specifically with this festival (a very large minus).  This is one tradition which has absolutely no need of being re-fangled.

I’m going to have to complain to the management.  Just as soon as she’s back on her pedestal.

On the evening of May 24, the statue was borne from the church of San Francesco di Paola to the church of San Pietro di Castello. The entire parish followed along, everyone reciting the prayers. A stroll after dinner is always a good thing, especially one like this.

Around 9:00 PM on May 31, the statue was brought out of the church, followed by her retinue of assorted parishioners and acolytes.

The corteo begins, backed by a stretch of Arsenal wall.

One of the few boats forming the procession carried several generations of the family. Always good to have a youngster at the bow, on the lookout for -- I don't know -- police boats. Seppie. Anything.

They look more pensive than absolutely necessary. I wonder if they were sorry they came aboard.

The cortege makes its first turn.

Moving the Madonna under the bridges was slightly challenging.

Turning past the Arsenal.

 

By the time we reach the end, it's almost night. This is just one of the evening's many beautiful elements.

 

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Categories : Boatworld, Events
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