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Report 1936: Our Month in Italy - Spring 2011
By Boleskine from NJ, Spring 2011
Page 25 of 30: Venerdi 20 Maggio 2011 - A Small Shopping Spree
Tronchetto-Piazzale Roma People Mover
When we reach Ciak 1 this morning there are no kiefers so it is an espresso and a croissant. Before walking home, I stop at the art and frame store across from Ciak 1. We have often bought posters here, but recently I noticed he had cloth tote bags with the lion of Venice on them. I am fascinated by felines of all types and sizes, and I am always drawn to anything decorated with the lion of Venice. I have a fistful euro that Gerarda sent me via Sarah for a shopping spree as a Mother's Day gift and for my first purchase, I buy a cloth tote bag with a lion of Venice on it. I am absurdly happy over this acquisition.
We walk home and I read the paper and do the puzzle. I try to read on my iPad, but I suddenly feel so sleepy that I lie on the bed and doze for several hours. I have no idea why I am suddenly overwhelmingly drowsy, but I don't feel much better or more alert when I finally get up. I try to read but keep nodding off. I have no idea what the problem is.
Sarah, Brian and I have a date to go shopping. We walk up to Dona Marie's jewelry shop. I had wanted to buy earrings for Eva Sofia, who has had pierced ears since she was about nine months old. Unfortunately, the shop has no stud earrings small enough for little girls, and Dona Maria agrees with me that three is too young for even tiny dangling earrings. Sarah buys a necklace for a friend and a necklace and earrings for herself. I had been planning to buy something, but see nothing that can top the necklace Sarah brought me as a Mother's Day gift.
Our next stop is the mask shop where Sarah chooses several gifts. Sergio and Massimo have a beautiful new mask; it is made like a violin. It is not only unusual and lovely to look at but I adore violin music. It is expensive, but fairly priced considering the work that goes into it and how stunning it is; however, with the current exchange rate, it costs more than I feel comfortable spending. I hope they are still available next year; I long for the days when the exchange rate was 1500 lire to the dollar, and almost nothing was too expensive.
There are also some beautiful leaf masks, painted in a new style. They come in pale colors like white and are decorated with delicately painted and small bright flowers. I also spot some new patterns on the small "eyes only" masks. I break a cardinal rule of shopping while traveling and defer buying until later. I never do get the chance again because each time I walk up, the mask shop is closed. I shouldn't have postponed shopping for a specific item so late in our trip. Shoulda woulda coulda as they say!
We move on to Sabbie e Nebbie. Brian chooses a scarf as a gift for a friend. He and Sarah confer with Maria Teresa, who seems to have an endless supply of beautiful silk scarves in whatever color, shade or color combination you might want. Brian, his purchase made, returns to the apartment. Sarah buys several small gifts too; it is so easy to shop in this lovely store with its combination of Asian and Italian wares. I use more of the euro that Gerarda gave me for Mother's Day and buy myself a blue silk scarf. It is a most beautiful shade of celestial blue with a darker border. Then Sarah and I walk home.
I feel really awful and lie down again. I think perhaps I should skip dinner, but Martin persuades me to go with everyone to al Fontego. He thinks not having eaten all day may be one reason I feel awful. I change my clothes, put on my new blue scarf, which perks me up immediately, and Martin and I head for the vaporetto.
We get off at Ca d'Oro, and walk the short distance to Lolo's wonderful restaurant where Sarah and Brian, who prefer to walk, are already waiting. We enjoy our glasses of chilled Prosecco and decide what to order. When we had eaten at Vini da Gino, Brian had pointed out the back of a building that had been under scaffolding for ages; now it is finished, and we could see the beautiful different colored marble slabs clean and almost glowing in the setting sun. How I wish I had brought my camera that night. I try to figure out which building it is from the other side when we pass that area on our way to al Fontego, but I am unsuccessful.
We are all having tuna tartare and everyone except me is having branzino. Brian orders a Franz Haas Mueller Thurgau which goes wonderfully well with both the tuna and the berries that garnish the plate. We all agree Lolo's tuna tartare is one of the best dishes to be found anywhere in Venice; it is certainly the best tuna tartare.
The branzino is rolled up so the skin is inside; it is a delicious and somewhat unusual presentation, which I have enjoyed many times. My tuna steak has the edges coated in sesame seeds; it is barely cooked, which is how I prefer it, and it is absolutely delicious.
Sarah has a dolce; it is fruit tart that looks truly delicious, and according to Sarah it tastes as good as it looks. The rest of us, and Sarah as well, indulge in a Moscato Rosso - the same one we had last time. We apologize to Lolo for never having made it to his midday cichetti, and tell him we hope to do better next year. He doesn't seem to hold our failure against us.
Martin and I deal with the packed vaporetto while Sarah and Brian walk and as usual beat us home. It is always surprising how short distances are in Venice when you go on foot and do not have to follow the winding canal route, but I much prefer to ride most of the way and just walk the last leg. Actually, if I could get the vaporetto to drop us at our dock, I'd probably do that. I may have a new knee but the rest of me is far from new.
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