Dear Venice, Wish You Were Here #16

Okay, employ a good British accent as you read this postcard sent to London. It was apparently sent from the Ferrovia station in Venice, but the text of the postcard references spending the day in Milan, so I’m not sure how that worked out. I try to imagine what travel was like in 1922 when this was sent. Though travel today, especially during a pandemic, requires some fortitude, I imagine that travel nearly one hundred years ago was a lot more challenging.

As best as I can make out, here’s the text of the postcard:

Dear Jeanie–

Venice was simply fascinating and I wish all of you could have been with us there. The last night (yesterday) we were there, there was a beautiful full moon, which we couldn’t resist so we went out in a gondola for an hour. It was so lovely and quiet. Sometimes we could hear singing across the water and it sounded heavenly. We came to Milan today & saw the cathedral. Tomorrow we go to Geneva. I hope you’re getting along splendidly.

Love, _____ (illegible)

This postcard is so incredibly evocative! The full moon, the late night gondola ride, the singing. My heart aches to think of it! Thank you, mysterious British person, for recording this brief moment in your life so that I could daydream about it in 2021!

Are you, like me, wondering who Laura “Jeanie” is and why she was left behind? Who are the “we” who are enjoying this lovely sojourn in Italy? When I looked up the address, it seems to be quite far north of London proper. Maybe my British readers can provide some context. The Drive is next to a patch of open space, and Google doesn’t even zoom in close enough to show the buildings there. So we’ll have to sit with some mystery regarding this location.

Is this the bridge in front of the Carmini church in Dorsoduro? It may say “Carmini” under the black ink text, but it’s hard to tell. The bridge and the campo on the left are a fairly close match, but I can’t figure out the church tower on the right. Any ideas?

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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11 Responses to Dear Venice, Wish You Were Here #16

  1. Shawn says:

    Yes, that is the Carmini campanile on the right. That’s the campo S. Barnaba on the left, and the Ponte dei Pugni in the middle there. You can see the two domes of San Raffaele in the distance.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4332642,12.3252415,3a,28.5y,260.44h,89.79t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6XCQIHTjaNkqmKRrRdDoLg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

  2. Bert says:

    It says (under the black ink) VENEZIA Rio dei Carmini. Either the name of the rio has been changed since the postcard was printed, or the postcard printer got the name wrong. It’s the Rio de San Barnaba. The foreground is where Katharine Hepburn fell into the canal in ‘Summertime’.

  3. Jane Fleming says:

    Yes, and the book boat moors up there.

  4. Jane Fleming says:

    Could the name be Brooke? The only Laura Jean Howard I can find on Ancestry.com is American and there are several. Difficult to hazard a guess which one as we don’t know how old she was.

  5. Bert says:

    Church End (often known as “Finchley Central”) is a locality within Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. … Church End is an old village, now a suburban development, centred 7 miles (11 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross. [Wiki] This explains C.E. Finchley. It is 8 miles from Charing Cross. I don’t ‘get’ the squiggles after Finchley. The first looks a bit like an N, and Finchley is in North London, but the old post codes would have been written after ‘London’, e.g. London SW1.

  6. Nancy W Schwalen says:

    Laura Jean must be a daughter, perhaps staying home because of her education although she might be young enough to be taught by a governess. Otherwise she could be at a boarding school.

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