The Art of War

The Art of War

While we are not above marking the tragic with the comic, in Venice it is a high art.

At the Hotel San Fantin the facade is made of cannon and cannonballs from the 1849 siege of Venice by Austria, triggered by the declaration of the independent Republic of San Marco by some Venetian enthusiasts. While the siege was tragic, ending in cholera and surrender, the facade is an almost comic display of honor.

Likewise, at Santa Maria del Giglio, relief maps of fortified towns engaged by Antonio Barbaro line the facade (at eye level, just in case you might miss them) in lieu of saintly apparitions. This panorama of 6 panels ranging from Candia (Corfu) to Rome to Padua to Zara in Croatia, are the heaviest travel guide ever?each marble panel is at least 6 feet wide and weighs in at around 3000 lbs.

From the ridiculous to the submerged, Carlo Scarpa?s Monument to the Partisan Women of WWII is a seemingly toppled bronze near a scattering of stone blocks, covered or uncovered as the tide decides. It is a beautiful idea and surprising that it hasn?t produced the meme-like standards that Maya Lin?s Vietnam War Memorial, or the WTC pools, has. I guess is just isn?s monumental enough, but it is quite thoughtful and provocative?as a memorial should be.