Dogana di mare
At the Punta della Salute (the very
wedge of the Dorsoduro island) is the Dogana di mare (Customs
House) it's just east the wonderful Santa Maria della Salute.
Crowning the corner tower, a seventeenth-century
weathercock figure of "Fortune" atop a golden ball, "characteristic," according
to Ruskin, "of the conceits of the time, and of the hopes and principles
of the last days of Venice". A grand view can be enjoyed here of
St Mark's. (www.timeout.com)
Henry James, describes the
Dogana in his "Italian Hours" essay on Venice:
The charming architectural
promontory of the Dogana stretches out the most graceful of arms, balancing
in its hand the gilded globe on which revolves the delightful satirical
figure of a little weathercock of a woman. This Fortune, this Navigation,
or whatever she is called--she surely needs no name--catches the wind in
the bit of drapery of which she has divested her rotary bronze loveliness.
On the other side of the canal twinkles and glitters the long row of the
happy palaces which are mainly expensive hotels. There is a little of everything
everywhere, in the bright Venetian air, but to these houses belongs especially
the appearance of sitting, across the water, at the receipt of custom,
of watching in their hypocritical loveliness for the stranger and victim.