My New Camera ...Diana F+

  Won nearly  £50 at the National Lottery Saturday draw and decided to reinvest the money in a new camera. The lightweight plastic Diana F Plus, originally produced in Japan in the 60s, has three different settings, color filters, and a pinhole option to experiment with. It’s known for producing vignetting, and also comes with a powerful flash and tripod capabilities, which will be useful for nighttime shots on the boardwalk. I love the element of surprise associated with cameras like these. The result is so unpredictable and dreamlike. I feel like a kid on Christmas....cannot wait to get it through the post!

20 Great Things to do in Venice 7/20 – Music

Experience (well-played) Vivaldi in Venice

For many, experiencing Vivaldi in Venice is an absolute must. But more discerning music-lovers might feel somewhat Baroqued out by the predictable programmes performed by local groups, whose technical ability rarely goes beyond the so-so to fairly good range. Exceptions are the Venice Baroque Orchestra, a global success, and the orchestra of La Fenice, one of the best in the country. As well as its opera and ballet seasons, Teatro La Fenice (Venice) La Fenice has at least two concert seasons a year. The Teatro Malibran shares the Fenice’s programmes and also has its own chamber music season, with performances by the Società Veneziana dei Concerti.

Mestre’s Teatro Toniolo also has a symphony and chamber music season. Most other musical events take place in Venice’s churches or scuole. St Mark’s basilica holds a smattering of ceremonial concerts throughout the year, with the patriarch deciding who is to attend. But lovers of sacred music should catch one of two regular Sunday appointments: the sung Mass at St Mark’s (10.30am) and the Gregorian chant on the island of San Giorgio (11am).

20 Great Things to do in Venice 6/20 - Art

Tour the Venetian masters of art

Venice is a unique and precious repository of art. From the late Middle Ages until the mid 18th century, artists of the highest caliber left thier mark all over the city and works by Venice's grand masters Titian (c1488-1576), Tintoretto (c1518-94), Canaletto (1697-1768) and Tiepolo (1727-1804) can still be viewed in situ today. See Titian’s glorious 'Assumption' above the high altar at I Frari, Tintoretto's epic masterpiece 'Crucifixion' at Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and Tiepolo's monumental frescos at the Pietà and Ca’ Rezzonico.

For a one-stop-shop of Venice’s foremost artistic treasures, head for the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

VENICE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 23:  Two women admire two different paintings by Lorenzo Lotto at the press preview of Tribute to Lorenzo Lotto - The Hermitage Paintings at Accademia Gallery on November 23, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The exhibition which includes two very rare & never seen before paintings opens from the 24th November 2011 to 26th February 2012 in Italy. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The Dragon and The Snake

 (Marco Secchi)

I never would have found this thing if I hadn't seen it in a book first...and a colleague in helping me with good directions!! It's very tucked away and even with directions, I had a hard time finding it.

"This work has an interesting symbology. The figure brings together in a single symbol two aspects of the Cosmos: the dragon is yang, active principle and divine power; while the serpent is yin, the principle of reproduction and primordial water. The intertwined double spiral represents two directions of one movement: balance and imbalance, birth and death, the initiation of death and the rebirth of new being. The rings thus mark the mid-line between yang and yin, an alternative twofold expansion and the point of balance between two opposing cosmic forces."

Diana Vreeland at Fortuny

Press preview today of this great exhibition of such style and fashion icon. This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to Diana Vreeland. Open until June 25th at Palazzo Fortuny it will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.

VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 09:  One of the exhibits seen during the press preview of "Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland" at Palazzo Fortuny on March 9, 2012 in Venice, Italy. This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to Diana Vreeland. Open until June 25th it will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking. (Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

This is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to the extraordinary and complex Diana Vreeland (Paris, 1903 – New York, 1989). It will explore the many sides of her work and seek to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.

The title stresses the need today to decontextualise the many facets that go to make up her kaleidoscopic career and to reconnect them in a new reading of the multiple meanings underlying her now legendary professional and human experience.

The exhibition will not limit itself to displaying some garments, although it will indeed be possible to admire many and extraordinary items; it will instead ‘short-circuit’ time, the articles on show and their ‘aura’, showing how fashion is both a complex phenomenon and the perfect observatory for interpreting the tastes and trends of contemporary society. The aim being to restore a sense of the “magnificent gait” with which Diana Vreeland processed through fashion of the 20th century, initially during her years at “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Vogue”, and then in her role as Special Consultant for the Costume Institute at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York