Friday, June 22, 2012

Punta Della Dogana

C I A O !     Welcome to 

Fantasy Venice !

The Royal Fireworks Music - Overture by Handel on Grooveshark































This dreamlike building,
 rising  from the waters of Venezia/Venice
is the Punta Della Dogana.
Built by Giuseppe Benoni
 between 1676 and 1682.











It is very old, and appears in many 
classic paintings. Here on a Monaco
postal stamp is reproduced a famous
work by Guardi that has been
copied many times















Back when Venice was a proud City State
her ships traded far and wide. 
 Great wealth flowed in to her
with the tides of history.
The Punta
 was for many centuries 
The old Customs House
( locals called it 'Dogana di Mare' )
where ships laden
 with the world's goods
paid their tolls to the
 masters of the City.
 Originally in the 14th century
 a watch tower was built here 
in order to prevent tax evasion.

Incidentally, 
the actual Punta della Dogana itself,

 is the wedge-shaped peninsular 
that the building sits on.
It is at the very entrance
  to the Grand Canal.

Above we approach it from the water
as countless mariners have.










  That is the goddess 
 FORTUNA
 serving as a weather vane
atop a gilded globe
upheld by two Atlases.
( Atlas- i ? ) 

There is much hard work
to bear about this globe of ours,
we all ride on the backs
or farmers, mechanics,
all workers.

But dame fortune
rides at the top of all.

With her weather vane
in the shape of a ship's sail
she knows
which way the winds of luck,
and of change
are going 
before any of us below.

Venice
was indeed crowned by fortune
for centuries.

Now
she is sinking.

Shopping malls
and Starbucks
are threatening to finally
push her
cherubic 
[ Fra Lippo Lippi and  Fra Angelico ]
curls
below the lagoon's
surface entirely.












 
Here's our playful gal,
or is she a cruel mistress?













Evening's descent 
makes even this place
look somehow more magical!













One of those numerous pictures of the pile.


Today the Punta is owned
 by French billionaire 

and serves as

The Center for Contemporary Art

" . . . As a center for contemporary art,
 the former customs house of the city 
presents a permanent exhibition of works
 from the Fran├žois Pinault Collection,
 the institution who wanted and sponsered (sic)
the transition of this masterpiece of architecture,
 so emblematic to the city,
 from its eminently commercial function
 to port of contemporary art
 and ideal venue to share it with the world. "



>  <  }  }  ( ° >

In science fiction
often there was a 'Magic Box'
that could tell,
or show the protagonist,
anything they needed 
to know.


Today we have that Magic Box,
it is called:
The World Wide Web.

Every day, YOU
my magical friends
show me wonders:
New York,
England's farm country,
a horse farm,
Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh,
Jerusalem, Perth,
Vancouver,
and Mumbai.

And yes,
your families,
your lives.

It is all magical 
and wonderful!

Occasionally
we see something
that 'sticks'
in our mind's eye.

We dream about it.

Somewhere, on a blog,
I saw this building;
And journeyed there
in my dreams.

This is my fantasy Summer
Road Trip,
across distance &
time.

Thanks for being my Virgil.
Thanks for riding along.
Magic Indeed!
Comment?
                 Warmly, cloudia