The second of Venice's romantic secrets, for Valentine's Day visitors.
#2 A passionate embrace
The second romantic secret of Venice is a very romantic kiss on discreet display in Venice's archaeological museum. As I am very dutiful about obeying "no photography" signs in museums, you can see a photo of the kiss here.
The object is the Grimani Altar, which comes from the Renaissance collection of the Grimani family. This collection became one of the world's first public museums. Some of the ancient sculptures were 'restored' and adapted in the Renaissance era. I have no idea of the authenticity of the altar, but it is said to be a Hellenistic work dating to the 1st century BC, and the Dionysian scenes carved onto its sides are quite compelling. The kiss is one of the most passionate you will see in art.
The archaeological museum is now part of the Museo Correr, accessed up a grand staircase in the Napoleonic Wing at the rear of St Mark's Square. Walk through the Museo Correr's historical rooms and into the adjoining Museo Archeologico. The Grimani Altar is in Room 6.
You can find a detailed visitor guide to the Museo Correr in the Italy Heaven Guide to Venice.
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