I've always felt that the only thing more gratifying than discovering a beautiful objet d'art is appropriating one from an unexpected context.
Take, for instance, the forcola. These are pretty much a perfect example of what I'm talking about: Hand carved, sinuously graceful forms that are actually designed to hold the oar on a Venetian gondola! In any case, one — or even better — a collection en masse, would make an interesting addition to a vignette. Almost better than a collection of obelisks, even.
I think it's the solid architectural quality that appeals to me most. Actually, I think I may have read somewhere that the architect I.M. Pei was similarly captivated by their form, but don't quote me...
As for my shot of the gondola factory, well... just chalk it up to being in a Venetian mood. And seriously, if anyone is planning a trip to Venice anytime soon (jealous!), there's an amazing cicheti place right across the canal, in Dorsoduro. Mmm... I think I need a vacation.