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Report 1968: A Month in Venice

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2011

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Page 9 of 28: October 12, 2011 Island Hopping

photo by BJ Firestone

Trattoria al Gatto Nero

Well, actually we only hopped to two other islands but it sounds exotic! Since the weather remains pretty close to perfect, we decided to go to Torcello and then to Burano today. The vaporetto runs from close to us on Fondementa Nove to Burano and then we change to a much smaller boat for the very short ride over to Torcello.

Torcello was settled between the 5th and 6th centuries, long before Venice but went into decline as Venice became more powerful. The Cathedral on Torcello is the oldest one in the islands with unbelievably beautiful mosaics. We had seen them before in 2008 but felt like we had not had enough time to really appreciate them then and so wanted to visit them again. It was well worth the trip to this island to be able to take as long as we wanted looking at them. The first time we were on Torcello was on our Context Lagoon tour and the skiff docked yards from the Cathedral. This time, because of getting off at the vaporetto stop, we were able to see much more of the island and found it to be much larger than we thought.

We then headed back to Burano, wandered around a little until we finally found the restaurant I wanted to go to, Al Gatto Nero. I had heard about this restaurant so many times on the Italy SlowTravel forum that I knew I needed to eat there. It did not disappoint us. We started off with misto de vongele which was a combination of steamed clams, steamed mussels and steamed razor clams. It was so good, I think I could eat razor clams all day long and never get tired of them. Then we had a fish risotto which was terrific. I am running out of accolades for the food we have been eating but it has been so wonderful. After a salad we had dessert which was a crema with mascapone and amaretto and coffee. It was definitely worth waiting all these months to have a meal like this.

We walked around some more and found the Lace Museum which had been closed for several years up until a few months ago. I really enjoyed it, I think Alan thought it was interesting but wasn't as enthusiastic about looking at all the lace as I was. Wouldn't it be wonderful to learn to make lace? I could spend a year or so here and get down the basics. Sounds like a plan, huh!

We came back home, meeting two cardiologists on the vaporetto. They were visiting from Argentina and needed directions. When Alan started speaking good Spanish to them instead of broken Italian, they seemed thrilled! We haven't really done much since then. We sat out on the terrace for a while watching the street "traffic" and then had a very light supper of salume, cheese and salad. A very nice day if I do say so.

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