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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Symbols of Venice: the Goddess of Fortune

The Punta della Dogana is the south entrance on the Grand Canal of my beautiful hometown, Venice. It have the shape of triangle and it divides the Grand Canal from the Canal of the Giudecca.  On the point of the triangle there is the Dogana da Mar, the Customs House, which was built between 1677 and 1682 by Giuseppe Benoni
Since Venice was once one of Europes busiest ports, ships from all over the world were docking here while awaiting clearance from customs to unload. The top of the Dogana was hosting once a watch tower to guard against foreign invasion. Later the watch tower was replaced by one of my favorite symbols of Venice:  a golden globe known as the palla d’oro, the golden sphere created by Bernardo Falconi . It has the form of two kneeling Atlantids, who support on their backs a gilded sphere that represents the world. On top of the sphere stands the goddess Fortune, who is known as 'Occasio'. She holds a gilded sail and a steering-oar, rotating to indicate the wind direction and, symbolically, the mutability of fortune itself.
It is said that when the palla d’oro was erected the winds of fortune started blowing very strongly in Venice’s direction. After standing empty for many years, the Dogana da Mar was bought by François Pinault, a French billionaire and collector of contemporary art, who hired Tadoa Ando, a Japanese architect, to revamp the interior. It is now a beautiful gallery of contemporary art. ​
From Venice With Love.

#giadavalenti #PBS #PuntaDellaDogana #FromVeniceWithLoveTour #Venice #PallaD’Oro #Furtune

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