Venezia - Venice
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At the outbreak of the Great War, Gabrielle d'Annunzio moved into the Hôtel Danielli before moving into the Palazzo Cassetta Rossa. Venice was close to the front during the Great War and subject to air raids. It's sea approaches were defended and reinforced and the Italian Navy had shallow-draft monitors which could operate in and around the shallow in shore inshore waters.
1939 Italian Navy cruisers at Venice. Pola, foreground, Zola, background. Note the lack of a bow-rise on the Italian cruisers, compared to warships designed for use in the North Atlantic. Compare and contrast the bowrise on HMS Vanguard and Soviet cruisers. The milder weather and sea-states in the Mediterranean meant that Italian cruisers did not have to have such high bows to keep the decks clear of water. Italian warships were also smaller and had less crew space than their counterparts in the Royal Navy because the operations of Italian warships were confined largely to Mare Nostrum, as the Italians called the Mediterranean, whereas the Royal Navy had to operate all over the globe.
In 1954 Somerset Maugham, who lived at Cap Ferrat, wrote to Ian Fleming from the Hôtel Gritti Palace in Venice :
The solitary, cynical octogenarian of the Villa Mauresque actually seemed excited now at the prospect of being serialized in the Sunday Times; and on June 3rd he wrote Fleming a note from the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice beginning, ‘My dear Ian and Revered Employer’. He said that he was ‘much pleased’ with Fleming’s advance notice published in the paper on the previous Sunday and that he had (the perennial author’s objection) only one complaint: ‘What an unflattering photograph you published! It will cost me half my fans.’
Paul Newman wearing evening dress rides a Riva on the way to the 1963 Venice Film Festival . Smell the warm evening air, the soft light reflecting off the chrome of the instrument dials on the dashboard. One evening in the eternal history of Venice will be yours and a glorious future yet awaits.
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Venice Film Festival , 1960
A windblown Sean Connery pilots a motor cruiser, Venice, San Marco basin, late 1960s. Connery himself purchased a Riva Rudy three years after making Diamonds are Forever (1971).
Sean Connery at the helm of a motor cruiser in the San Marco basin
From Russia with Love (1963) Scene: Bond and Tatiana take a Gondola ride in Venice after escaping from Colonel Klebb. Location: Backprojection filmed in Venice, Grand Canal. Bond inspects the reel of 8mm film. 8mm was half a 16mm strip, with the apertures for the teeth down one side only. 8mm film stopped being manufactured around 1989 with Super-8mm being continued a bit longer, as video cameras which used magentic tape were taking over its market.
On the right the Grand Canal in 1963, shot for the closing titles of From Russia with Love (1963) and on the left, the wedding of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, 2014
In Ian Fleming's book of short stories, one, Risico, Risico (1960) is set in Venice on the Lido, the sand bar which protect's Venice's lagoon and the island which Venice is built upon within that lagoon, from the Adriatic. Fleming and his wife Anne had been staying in Venice during the course of 1962 and Fleming had bumped into one of his old golfing partners from Whites, the London Club. He had introduced him to the local club at Alberoni, where Risico is set. Fleming's wife Anne described how Ian and his friend used to run fast motor launches across the lagoon, which both bored and frightened her.
In the above map, the Lido of Venice, which is the sand bar which protects the Lagoon from the Sea. When Lord Byron lived in Venice he used to come out to the Lido to ride his Horses along the beach.
In the above Map, the line of pursuit along the Beach, showing the shortcut of Bond's pursuers across the Minefield.
Alberoni and the golf course from the air, circa 1970s. The minefield would be to the right, in scrub. The golf course is in the center, indicated by lawns and trees.
In the above photograph (2004) the camera is looking back toward Venice and the lagoon (North).
To the right is the back of the Lido of Venice , the long sand bar which protects the Lagoon of Venice from the Adriactic Sea. To the left is one of the deep channels through the sand bar, which admit shipping to the Lagoon. On the other side of the channel, the sand bar continues nearly all the way to the coast, where there is another channel just before the little port town of Chioggia , on the mainland. The black upright object visible in the middle distance is a old bronze cannon which has been set into the concrete and stone sea wall which lines the channel, to the left of camera. The cannon are mentioned by Fleming in Risico. Beyond the cannon you can see huts set on stilts which are used by fishermen to store they equipment. To the right is beach along which Bond runs to evade his pursuers. At the ear of the beach is the scrub area which during the time of Fleming's writing was still mined and wired, after being used as part of the wartime sea defences of the Venetian coast. Concrete pillboxes scatter the area, from both World Wars. The tower in the far distance is one of the towers used by the coastguard to control shipping traffic in and around the channel.
Looking out to sea along the sea wall. The end of the sea wall is in the distance behind the head of the lady. The other side of the channel can be seen to the right. The salt marsh is to the left of frame, and further inland, the golf course which Fleming mentions.
In the above photograph, a World War II pillbox looks out over the channel (left of frame). Behind the pillbox is the scrub and behind that the golf course which is mentioned by Fleming in Risico. There are many such concrete emplacements in the area. The emplacements made for the Great War may be distinguished because they are usually in the wrong place, the sea coast have moved around them, and are listing slightly, due to the shifting of the soft sand bar.
From Ian Fleming's novel From Russia with Love (1957), Fleming describes Bond's journey on the Orient-Express:
Some tagliatelli verdi came, and the wine, and then a delicious escalope. 'Oh it is so good,' she said. 'Since I came out of Russia I am all stomach.' Her eyes widened. 'You won't let me get too fat, James. You won't let me get so fat that I am no use for making love? You will have to be careful, or I shall just eat all day long and sleep. You will beat me if I eat too much?'
'Certainly I will beat you.'
Tatiana wrinkled her nose. He felt the soft caress of her ankles. The wide eyes looked at him hard. The lashes came down demurely. 'Please pay,' she said. 'I feel sleepy.'
The train was pulling into Maestre. There was the beginning of the canals. A cargo gondola full of vegetables was moving slowly along a straight sheet of water into the town.
'But we shall be coming into Venice in a minute,' protested Bond. 'Don't you want to see it?'
'It will be just another station. And I can see Venice another day. Now I want you to love me. Please, James.' Tatiana leaned forward. She put a hand over his. 'Give me what I want. There is so little time.'
Then it was the little room again and the smell of the sea coming through the half-open window and the drawn blind fluttering with the wind of the train. Again there were the two piles of clothes on the floor, and the two whispering bodies on the banquette, and the slow searching hands. And the love-knot formed, and, as the train jolted over the points into the echoing station of Venice, there came the final lost despairing cry.
Outside the vacuum of the tiny room there sounded a confusion of echoing calls and metallic clanging and shuffling footsteps that slowly faded into sleep.
Padua came, and Vicenza, and a fabulous sunset over Verona flickered gold and red through the cracks of the blind. Again the little bell came tinkling down the corridor. They woke. Bond dressed and went into the corridor and leant against the guard rail. He looked out at the fading pink light over the Lombardy Plain and thought of Tatiana and of the future.
NATO TPC F-2B section northern Adriatic, Venice and the lagoon circa early 1970s
NATO TPC F-2B Northern Adriatic, Istria
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Routes of the Orient-Express
In the days of the British Empire, after the Suez Canal was opened transit to India was much quicker than around the Cape. Those transiting to India would leave London by the boat train and then onwards to Mediterranean ports like Marseilles, Genoa, Venice, Bari, Brindisi. The Indian Mail was a service which went from London to Brindisi by rail and thence by a steamer, the Indian Mail, to Port Said and to Bombay, Calcutta.
- http://blog.jamminglobal.com/ - Visemar Line Ferry from Venice to Alexandria -
Passage East by Ian Marshall ISBN 1-57427-069-9
In the days before the Canal, mail for India would leave London by train, cross the Channel by ferry, and then continue by rail again across France to Marseilles, where it would be put aboard the P & O steamer. Passengers who could afford to do so traveled the same route, saving at least a week and avoiding the notorious swells and rollers of the Bay of Biscay. This route was briefly interrupted in 1870 by fighting in the Franco-Prussian War, but subsequently the new Mont Cenis railway tunnel through the Alps enabled the Indian Mail to switch its terminal to Venice. P & O started a shuttle service from there to Port Said, at the mouth of the Canal, where passengers and mail could now be transferred straight onto the ship which would be taking them all the way to the East. Later, the rail connection was extended down the length of Italy to Brindisi, and this remained the itinerary until 1914. By this date the passage by ship all the way from London to Bombay was down to less than three weeks.
+ SEE ALSO
- For Your Eyes Only, Risico (1960) - Fleming's book of Bond short stories, of which one, Risico, is set in Venice.
- Kellys Heroes (1970) - Filmed in Istria.
- Mille Miglia
- Casino Royale (2006) - Palazzo Pisani .
- Cole Porter
- The Italian Lakes - Lago Italia
- James Bond Motion Picture Locations
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- Venice Film Festival
- CruiserWiki - Venetian Lagoon - Navigation for yachts entering the lagoon
- http://www.swide.com/ - Riva at the Venice Film Festival
- http://papasplanet.com/ - Papa's Planet - Hemingway locations.
- http://www.gototravelnow.com/ - Motion Picture locations in Venice
- Ca' Vendramin Calergi, the Palazzo in which Richard Wagner died
- Venice-Simplon Orient Express
- http://www.bartleby.com/ - Byron's Ode on Venice
- http://www.harrysbarvenezia.com/ - Harry's Bar, Venezia
Hemingway at Harry's Bar
- Restaurant Ivo www.ristorantedaivo.it, Venice. George Clooney had the bridegroom's party dine here before his wedding.
- Hôtel Danieli , Venice. A palatial Pallazzo converted into an hôtel in 1824. At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Gabrielle d'Annunzio arrived in Venice to join the armed forces and checked-in to the Hôtel Danieli.
- Ca' Farsetti Pallazzo , where George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin were married in 2014
- Hôtel Aman Canal Grande , location for the wedding reception of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin in 2014
- Hôtel Belmond Cipriani - George Clooney stays here during the Venice Film Festival, the after-reception party for the wedding of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin was held here.
-- Istria: Fiume / Rejika
-- Istria: Isles Brioni , Islands of Brijuni - The private islands upon which Tito built a villa complex.
- Adriatic Sailor - Information for yachtsmen.
- Byron: Life and Legend by Fiona MacCarthy
- Wagner and Venice by J.W.Barker published by University Rochester Press, 2008
- Venice Cult Recipes by Laura Zavan
- The Gardens of Venice and the Venito by Jannie Condie
- The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallet published by Fourth Estate, 2013 - The major biography of Garbrielle d'Annunzio
- Touring Club Italiano Venezia 1:5000 ISBN 880365-0601-1
- NATO TPC F-2B
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