Do you like music? Do you like to see how it is miraculously produced? The Museum of Musical Instruments of the Venice Conservatory displays a number of musical instruments, nice to look at yet more or less mysterious to the non-expert eye. Observing them, though, might open a glimmer of light and, maybe… pierce through darkness…
Music almost dates back to the time men and women first appeared on Earth, but it is only in Medieval times that paintings started suggesting Heaven was even more beautiful with angel musicians playing music. At the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, we can see how ancient instruments (for which paintings often provide rare testimonies) were originally only played by angels, followed by brothers during processions and religious festivities and later also by poets or simple musicians.
Mariano Fortuny was a multifaceted versatile talented person and had a vast eclectic culture. He was a fashion and costume designer, an inventor, a photographer with a skilled eye and created many lamps, fabrics and garments. He spent many decades of his life in Venice, in Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, and purchased a former convent area with garden on the Giudecca island for his factory bringing it back to life
This large garden reminds us of a branch of the Contarini family, one of the oldest in Venice and the only one that had eight Doges representing the city. The garden changed multiple times over five centuries and still shows traces of its past as well as the wealth of its current plants and flowers at the same time
Pietà is a truly moving institution that has existed ever since it was first established in 1346 to help those children – initially exclusively from poor families – who were abandoned in the streets of Venice, a city that suffered from this plague like many others.
But it is also touching for its extraordinary developments, both involving or not involving music, connected to private and public generosity and, at the same time, for teaching its “daughters” a lot thanks to the work of composers and musicians such as Vivaldi who dedicated almost forty years of his life to them.