Thursday, June 9th:
Thursday morning, Sandra and I met downstairs for breakfast. The weather was still overcast and cool (for me). After talking about various choices on what to do, we decided to try to make the 11:00 Mass at the Basilica di San Marco to see the mosaics all lit up and to avoid the line.
After breakfast, we walked to the nearby Ca' Rezzonico vaporetto stop and rode the vaporetto to the second of the two San Marco stops.
We headed straight to the side door of the Basilica as it was almost 11:00 and they won't let you in if you are late. There seemed to be some confusion when we arrived. We finally realized after trying to figure out just what was going on that all public masses were canceled for the day. Some important church person, I think a Bishop? happened to be visiting. Just our luck!
So onto Plan B. We also talked about checking out the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni at breakfast, so off we went. Let me tell you, this was one difficult place to find. We must have stopped and asked for directions at least three times before finally finding it. No photos were allowed inside the Scuola. I noticed when looking at my ticket, it says Scuola Dalmata delli Santi Giorgio e Triffon. The little sign on the building says both: Scuola Dalmata S. ti Giorgio e Triffon and San Giorgio degli Schiavoni so I guess you could ask for either when asking for directions or information about this place.
I took these photos while we were on the search for the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, and yes that tower in the second photo is tipping a little bit.
After leaving the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, we started to think about food. Neither of us knew of any good places to eat nearby. We checked out a few places nearby but none really thrilled either of us. As we continued to search, somehow, after taking a turn down one of the little side streets, we ended up right back out onto the waterfront not too far from the vaporetto stop where we arrived earlier in the day.
So we hopped on the vaporetto and went to the Fondamenta delle Zattere where we found a little restaurant called Ristorante "GIANNI" Pizzeria, also known as il ristorante Da Gianni. This restaurant is located right by the Zattere vaporetto stop and turned out to be a great choice. Not only were there nice views but the food was also good. I ordered mussels and a caprese salad. Yum!! I can't remember now what Sandra ordered but I am pretty sure she was also happy with her meal.
After lunch, we decided to go visit a few more churches. First on our list was the Chiesa di Santo Stefano. To get there, we walked over the Ponte dell'Accademia or Accademia bridge. We stopped while on the bridge to take a few photos. The views are always so beautiful from this bridge. We even managed to be there while the sun was trying to emerge.
After crossing the bridge, we went inside the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (pretty yellow building pictured below) to inquire about the little narrow house, something I ended up visiting later in the week. I will share more about this little narrow house in another blog post.
The Chiesa di Santo Stefano is one of the Chorus Pass churches, although only one part of the church requires the Chorus Pass ticket or a 3 euro admission. There is a Tintoretto Last Supper inside this church. After seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper, I was not hugely impressed but it could also just be that I am not a big fan of Tintoretto's work. Not sure why. I just am not. I did enjoy the church though. It is one of Venice's larger churches and it even has a ship's keel ceiling. If I am remembering correctly now this is the church where I saw a beautiful glass nativity display.
Next we decided to walk to the nearby Teatro La Fenice to check out the hours to tour the inside of this opera house. I took a tour of this beautiful opera house the last time I was in Venice and remembered that on certain days the tours of La Fenice were limited when concerts were scheduled. I thought about taking another tour so I could take a few more photos inside and I think it would have been the first time for Sandra visiting the Teatro La Fenice. We got a little lost again but eventually we found it. It was too late in the day to take a tour. I was more disappointed though when I went inside to check out the hours and saw a sign saying no photos. I guess this is a new policy.
It turned out however that stopping by the Teatro La Fenice was a good thing as it brought us to the amazing Oksana Mas exhibit at the nearby Chiesa di San Fantin. We probably would not have found this exhibit, which ended up being one of the favorite things I saw while I was in Venice, had we not gone to the Teatro La Fenice. I am going to do another post on the Oksana Mas exhibit. Here is a preview...
So now what? Well, we only had a little time left before the churches closed for the day. Since we were on a church roll, we decided to check out the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio. This church, according to the Chorus Pass map, is one of the first churches to be founded in the city of Venice, dating back to the tenth century. We arrived just as they were closing for the day. They were very kind and let us in. Another small group tried to get in a minute after we arrived and they were turned away. I really enjoyed this church. The inside houses some really interesting art. I also loved the outside of this church.
By this time we both were ready to go back to our B&B for a while. I took this photo while waiting at the Santa Maria del Giglio vaporetto stop.
It was cold and cloudy again that evening. We asked Carlo and Wenyu for some recommendations for dinner. We decided to give Pane Vino e San Daniele a try. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this restaurant. My meal however was not one that I would probably order again. I took a chance ordering something new. It was some sort of spongy flat pasta dish with a tiny bit of pesto mixed in. Sandra ordered a really interesting fregola pasta. They did let me order their melone (cantalope) dish with out the prosciutto and only charged me half the cost which was nice. The melone was nice and fresh. This restaurant was more of a meat restaurant with not many non-meat choices. I think if you are a meat eater, you would really enjoy this restaurant.
Here are a couple of photos I took while walking back towards our B&B of the reflection in a quiet little canal.
Even though it was cold outside, I wanted to end my day eating something yummy. There is a GROM right near our B&B. We stopped there for gelato. YUM!! I love GROM!! After we each ordered our gelato, Sandra went in search for a bancomat (ATM) and I went back to my room to warm up.
It was really nice to share my day and evening with Sandra as we explored beautiful Venice together!