12 June, 2006

20. The University of Studies

This gate into a walled garden entrance carried the name "Universita degli studi", or University of Studies, an odd and somewhat tautological name.

It also has a very serious and scholarly looking head at the keystone of the gated arch, as well as a very classical looking figure sculpture on the wall above the gate.

There is no story to this picture, except for the amusing juxtaposition of these two sculptures. I just like the idea of the disembodied head on the gate beneath a headless body. It's as if Aristotle – or whoever the head symbolizes – was standing on the wall when his head fell off and got caught on the top of the gate. OK, I admit it's a silly thought.

But I like the fact that Venice is full of old oddities and incongruities, with far more of them packed in per square meter than anywhere else in the world. It's the perfect place for an old oddity collector like me.

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