We sought out Grimani's home on the penultimate day of our trip. A misplaced confidence in our navigation abilities after a week in the city got us into a number of difficulties which, while never fatal, taught us an important lesson on the subject of traveller hubris. Never has a coffee tasted so good, or been so welcome, as we collapsed down to a table situated on the perimeter of Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Two cappuccino's and a generous portion of humble pie, please.
We've had better navigation results in thick hill clag or whiteout on Scottish peaks..
Although a Grimani only became Doge nearly two centuries after the time of THE QUARANT, the family had enjoyed a long period of wealth and power within the city nobility. The Palazzo Grimani is now a museum containing many artefacts from the time of both Antonio and Marino Grimani's reigns at either end of the 17th century.
I feel for Uberto. Would he ever be able to get the better of Grimani, once it became obvious that the man considered him an enemy? Too much the establishment figure, too well grounded in the complex and often impenetrable web of interdependencies that bound the old Venetian nobility together, Uberto was just too much of an outsider.
One thing I cannot pass by without mention. Two minutes walk from Grimani's place, we stumbled upon Libreria Aqua Alta, the "Library of High Water", on the Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa. Arguably the quirkiest secondhand bookshop I've ever experienced. Guarded by at least five of the owner's cats, its central room is dominated by a decommissioned gondola repurposed as a bargain basket; even more intriguingly, a book jungle has been constructed in the backyard. Nice coffee too. Just don't expect to be able to work out the filing structure - I think it was designed by the man who failed to get a job on the set design team of "The Name Of The Rose". Or the dyslexic assistant librarian I once supervised.