[Whee, blogging from a train, or at least it’s writing on a train, heading to Milan, perhaps I will really finish this blog].
May 1 is a holiday in many parts of Europe, Labor Day, Worker’s Day. Because it is a Tuesday, many have taken a 4 day weekend, and there are a lot of people in Venice today. Most restaurants are open, as for shops, it’s hit or miss. We are going to meet Shannon at 1pm and so have this morning free. It was nice to wake up to quiet in Santa Croce this morning. Our first thought is to go the Accademia museum, but in checking the hours, we find that May 1 is one of the 3 days of the year it is closed. Next trip.
Besides it is a beautiful day, clear skies, still a little cool. We decide to take the #2 vap around the Giudecca side and go to San Giorgio Maggiore, the little island off the tip of the Giudecca. But first we pass the cruise ship port and notice that there are 4 (sigh) ships in port, one huge, one large and two medium. There will be a lot of people in Venice today.
Visiting San Giorgio was the right idea. There are not a lot of people out this way; we take the lift in the campanile to the top and realizes we have not seen these views before. We can see the crowds over at St. Mark’s, and I figure out the huge swimming pool on the Giudecca belongs to the infamous Cipriani hotel. I also admire the private boats tied up to the hotel’s private dock.
Vap to San Marco to catch one up the Grand Canal, get to see the crowds up close and personal, glad we are able to hide in the calles today. We meet up with Shannon at Bancogiro at the Rialto Market, and have our first glass of vino bianco of the day. I also have a few crostini, one with smoked salmon is particulary good. Colleen is doing some wanderings of her own, and we will meet up with her later.
David has a pasta craving so we go off in search of lunch. Our first choice is closed and while walking to find another we realize we are walking by a favorite from our last trip, Al Nono Risorto, the place with the pretty garden. And they have a table in the garden, so lunch it is. David gets his pasta, alla Amatriciana, I have a farewell fritto misto and Shannon has a plate of carpaccio and arugula. Perfetto.
After lunch we decide to go back to our hotel, retrieve a bottle of Prosecco and figure out a pre-dinner plan. I don’t know where I have read this, but many say that the best part of Venice is getting lost in her back streets and campos. And we actually do this in spite of being with Shannon; her Achilles heel, or as she says, Bermuda Triangle is the area where our B&B is. And we are lost, and it is just fine – we find a café, have drink, take out the maps and soon we are back.
David decides he has not walked enough today and he walks back with Shannon to her apartment while I take a break, and take advantage of the internet. We are going to meet at La Cantina before our pizza dinner. So I take the vap myself to Ca’ d’Oro, and walk up the Strada Nova, and as I am early, have a farewell gelato treat at GROM, a fabulous strawberry.
The skies open a bit while we are having our wine at La Cantina, and since the original pizzeria choice is on May 1 holiday, we go to Pizzeria Birreria, which is open. Colleen has been dying to order a French frie pizza, so we do, along with two others, salad and bruschetta (always wine). While eating we strike up a conversation with a young American couple, from California, new to Venice and only here for 3 days. Lucky, lucky Joe & Kelly, Shannon takes their map and shows them where to eat, where to go, her tour in 15 minutes. They end up joining us in a bit of post pizza bar hop, we go to two places, and I don’t know what happens when we leave. We do have one last lazy ride up the Grand Canal, sans daytrippers, in the dark, a very romantic farewell to Venice.
Not a bad way to end a marvelous Venetian experience. We’ll be back.