Death in Venice

Plaque to Richard Wagner, Ca' Vendramin-Calergi, Venice
Today is the anniversary of the death of Richard Wagner, who died in Venice in 1883. 

The great German composer must hold the record for the number of plaques in the city that are dedicated to a single individual.
Plaque to Richard Wagner, Ca' Vendramin-Calergi, Venice
In addition to the two plaques on the Ca' Vendramin Calergi, where he died, there is another in the Cafe Lavena, his favourite watering hole. 


The rather flowery inscription on the plaque that faces the Grand Canal was the work of Gabriel d'Annunzio. 

In questo palagio
l'ultimo spiro di Riccardo Wagner
odono le anime 
perpetuarsi come la marea
che lambe i marmi



(In this palace, the spirits heard the last breath of Richard Wagner become eternal, like the tide which laps the marble stones).

Wagner felt a strong emotional and artistic attachment to Venice, his favourite Italian city. Between 1858 and 1883 he visited the city six times. 

In September, 1882, he and his wife Cosima, with their four children, took up residence in a large suite of rooms in the Ca' Vendramin-Calergi. It was in the room that he used as his study that Wagner died of heart failure on February 13th, 1883. The composer was sixty-nine years old. 

Three days later his body was transported, in an ornate Viennese coffin, the short distance to the railway station, where a train was waiting to take him to Bayreuth.  

Three of the rooms in which Wagner lived now form the Museo di Wagner.
Plaque to Richard Wagner, Caffe Lavena, Venice

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