After leaving the Giardini grounds the day before, we walked through some of the "backroads" of the Castello district of Venice (despite Venice's cramped and crowded appearance, there ARE neighborhoods where the tourists don't bother to gawk, so the locals and their kids can be seen in their natural environs) while on the hunt for food and drink. Unlike Rome, I found it nearly impossible to find a place which sold pizza by the slice. But I was hungry and determined, and kept walking, eventually finding not only food (hmmm, a La Standa grocery and department store -- something akin to the Fred Meyer or K-Mart of Italy, I'm sensing -- that might come in handy...) but also an Irish bar, and a few UW SAPR students ponying up to the front for drinks. Then a walk back to the hotel room, with the dark water of the canals reflecting the bright colors of the many hand-blown glass shops (this place is like Disneyland for art students, I'm thinking -- this must be the only place in Italy where everything in the shop windows is shiny and new and bright).

The next morning, another breakfast in the hotel lobby, news of yet another earthquake the day before, and on to what many of us were renaming the "illy Biennale," due to the Italian coffee company's omnipresent sponsorship of anything Biennale-related in our vicinity.

47. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte
La Biennale di Venezia 1997

The 47th International Exhibition of Art
at Corderie della Arsenale

The rope-making factories of the Arsenale

Komar and MelamidKomar and MelamidBertrand LavierJuan Muñoz

Today, we would visit the Arsenale, the old barns where the merchant and naval ships of the Republic of Venice were built and maintained. Restored to a state resembling modern warehouses on an urban wharf, they now play a large role in expanding the scope and feel of the Biennale.

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