Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1968: A Month in Venice
By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2011
Page 26 of 28: November 2, 2011 Winding down
Reflections of Venice
Well, once again we are skipping a day's entry but we really are just winding down, trying to figure out where a whole month has gone. It doesn't seem possible that we are leaving for home on Friday. Neither of us is ready for that but especially Alan who goes back to work on Monday. Yesterday we decided was another wander-about day, so we set out again down streets we hadn't explored before and found ourselves in San Polo -- well, truthfully we did realize we were walking across the Rialto Bridge but that was it.
November 1st, All Saint's Day, is a holiday in Venice (and I assume Italy but am not sure). The squares and streets were crowded with Italian families, dogs, baby strollers and scooters. In S. Maria Formosa there was a guitar group playing gospel songs with people dancing all around them. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their holiday and many, many stores, restaurants, etc. were closed. It was actually fun to see all the families out and about even if it did make things crowded.
We wandered through San Polo and stopped at Osteria Vivaldi for lunch. We had eaten there in 2008 and enjoyed it but this time we really thought it was excellent. Alan started with pasta e fagiole which he had had many times growing up in Youngstown. It was like comfort food for him although he said it was not like the Youngstown version. I had very good taglierini with shrimp and basil and then Alan had fegato alla Venexiana which he thought was really delicious. We were forced to have a panna cotta with berries since we needed to have our fruit for the day.
We wandered around some more and then got on the vaporetto at San Stae for the very short ride to Ca d'Oro where we were to meet Nan. She took us to the Arzaną which was the workshop where gondole used to be made. It was a fascinating look into an amazing craft and we are so glad she had arranged to take us there. We then came home, had leftovers and put the colds and coughs to bed.
This morning we again wandered around, stopping at Ratti which is a store that has everything from kitchen goods like pots and pans and toasters to hardware such as table saws and Dremels! What a neat store. Alan then wanted to pick up some wine to give to Francesco to thank him for lending him the violin. We went to Tre Mercanti but it was still closed, so came back to S. Maria Nova campo where there is a wine store. After that we wandered down the Strada Nova to Ai Osti, an osteria which claims to have been established in 1385. It is truly a neighborhood place where workmen in steel-toed boots were eating next to ladies with shopping trolleys. We split an antipasti misti and then I had spaghetti with shrimp and curry and Alan had spaghetti with gamberini (which is like a cross between a crawfish and a shrimp with claws, a hard shell, and a shrimp head).
We didn't have time to get anything else as we were supposed to meet Francesco at one to return the violin. We jumped on the vaporetto and headed down to P. Roma, met Francesco and had a coffee with him. When Alan gave him the wine, he was very pleased because it turned out to be from his home region of Friuli in northern Italy.
After making sure he knew that he and his family were welcomed to visit with us any time they were in the States, we parted and wandered through Santa Croce into San Polo, over the Rialto once more to the Vodaphone store where they made sure the offer to automatically charge us 10 a month to maintain the SIM account was not going to happen.
We then hurried to meet Christy (JustTravel) in Campo San Luca at 3. She took us first to her apartment where we met her husband Paul and saw the apartment. She is so right in that it is a really great apartment. I know they will be happy there for their three months in Venice. She then took us to her friends' glass shop where we were able to get a pendant and some beads for Erica that we hope are close to the one she and Ethan bought in Amalfi and that got broken. Then the three of us went for a leisurely drink at Zenzero in Campo S. Marina. It was our first time having a Spritz and to tell you the truth, I rather enjoyed it! It was a sweet spritz which means it was made with Aperol rather than Campari. I could still taste the bitters which reminded me of my days in LA and, if I remember, drinking Manhattens. Christy then came over and helped us greatly by taking the perishables we won't use and a few other things. It is so much better to be able to give those things to someone rather than throwing out perfectly good food.
We had the last of the pasta from the other night and are trying to stay quiet and get Alan's cough under control. One more day left and so much we still want to experience. Gosh, I guess that means we'll come back again and again.
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