• Sheryl Gwyther

#3 Packing the write way for Italy

Deciding on clothes, shoes, boots for edge-of-season, northern hemisphere travelling is tricky enough - autumn in Venice can be warm, and cool, rainy and sunny - but adding in what I'll need to research 18th C Venice, the brilliant explosion of art, music and literature of the Venetian Baroque, Vivaldi's connection, and the girls and women of the famous choir and orchestra of the Pietà, requires careful planning.

I have made a start on my list!! Better late than never.

How lucky am I to have a print of Patricia Ward's stunning art - her Venice Carnevale image - to inspire me.

  • Ultra-light coat (with furry-edged hood ... very Italian-swish). Scarpa walking boots (very non-Italian swish, but comfort comes first). Camera. Surface Pro notebook.

  • ACTV Tourist Travel Pass for unlimited use along the canals on the vaporettos or across to the islands of Burano, Murano, Lido and Torcello, and the cemetery island of San Michele.

  • Venice street map - although they say it's better to lose oneself in the labyrinth of alleys, bridges, calles, fondamentas and dead ends on your first day there. If you're seriously lost, you just follow the street signs pointing the way back to San Marco's Piazza.

  • Story journal and planning notebook for my novel in progress, The Four Seasons of Caterina.

  • List of questions and areas to research in the Museum of the Ospedale della Pietà, the home for Venice's abandoned and unwanted children since the 1300s, where my story is partly set.

  • Tickets for the Vivaldi concert in the church next to the Ospedale - swoon. I also have a fabulous list of significant churches and music museums from Vivaldi's time - the Italian Baroque. Now, I want to meet an English woman, Micky White - a brilliant and most passionate researcher of Vivaldi and his connection to the Ospedale, who lives in Venice.

Said to be the most authentic modern recording of THE FOUR SEASONS - with sololist, Amandine Beyer & the Gli Incogniti orchestra. Sublime and powerful. Just as Vivaldi would've conducted it himself. One of the 4 movements, Summer.

Venice is called the Impossible City , built on mud and water since its beginning as a place of refuge against warring barbarians from the north in 400 AD. I hope I can do this wondrous, complicated, brilliant city justice.

If Venice is the body of this story, music is its heart.

Till next time. Signing off...


#travel #Venice #MickyWhite #research #writing #PatriciaWard #illustrator