ART NOUVEAU AT THE LIDO

I associate the lido idea, at least in the UK, as being part of the turn of the twentieth century and the interest in health and hygiene . It all feels like something of a time gone by, now being reinvigorated, with bright colours, blue, white, in some places nice details like brightly painted doors. And I join the many others that like this very much. The Lido (at Venice) isn't a lido in that sense - it is really a beach. But there is plenty of turn of the twentieth century architecture. There are delightful villas - Kamakura; Mon Plaisir; Gemma; Mirandolina; Hungaria Hotel; and the Excelsior Pharmacy, in Art Nouveau style or with Art Nouveau stylings and fixtures. The Excelsior Pharmacy is nothing in comparison to the Santa Novella pharmacy in Florence, which was opened in the sixteenth century by Dominican friars, but in a building that goes back to the thirteenth century. There are very beautiful fresco'd walls and ceiling to admire, even if the very expensive perfume and soap on sale is of less interest - very much worth a look-in, if you come in to Florence by train. Side-tracked by Florence, for a moment - I don't know if there is good swimming in Florence, something to find out. The Four Seasons at the Hungaria Hotel speak to something very central to open water swimming - the changing air, water, day length, across the year. Its is turning to Autumn here, and while the water is warm, the evening air turns to a slight chill.

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