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Report 713: A Weekend in Venice for the Biennale

By KellyC from NJ, Summer 1999

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Page 3 of 4: Day Two: Shopping and Eating

Saturday

I meet up with my friend in the lobby and we head over to the Hotel Floria to meet her boss for breakfast. They have a lovely garden and we eat there with her. Then we all go out to do some shopping. We all buy wallets: they at Prada and me at Gucci. Then we continue wandering. We find a lovely store that sells jewelry made of Murano Glass, called Sent. I get a really pretty amber colored glass necklace. We are heading towards Prada to make sure my friend is happy with the wallet she selected, when I hear my name being yelled out very loudly. I turn to see a client from New York running towards me asking if I have seen a mutual friend of ours. As I go to walk into Prada the door opens and out come two more clients from New York. The Prada store seems to be the opposite of kryptonite for all New Yorkers in Venice for the biennale. After going to Prada and a few other stores, my friend and her boss have to head over to the train station to take the afternoon train to Basel.

It is about 3:00 pm so I head for the vaparetto to Giudecca and wander over to Harry’s Dolci for lunch. And who do I see sitting across the restaurant once I am done eating, but the same client that was yelling my name out a couple hours earlier. I go over to say hello and end up sitting with them for coffee and dessert. The restaurant is really tranquil and lovely. There is a terrific view across the canal looking towards San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. It is really nice to just sit and gaze out at the water and the boats passing by.

After leaving, I randomly decide that I will take the vaparetto out to the Lido to wander around. It is a bit of a long ride but it is nice to be out on the water. I get off and am a little jarred to see cars. I did not realize they had them there and had already adjusted to not having them around.

Since I had read Death in Venice I decide I want to see the Hotel des Bains that Thomas Mann used as the location for the book. It is enormous and next to a number of other grand hotels lining the waterfront. Since I can never resist a beach, I walk over onto the beach. It is not beach weather so there is no one down there. The hotel cabanas are huge and very deluxe. There are planes flying across the sky, which I was told I might see. They are the planes going out across the Adriatic to Kosovo. Very surreal to see them leaving to go to a war zone as I am enjoying myself in Venice. It is definitely something to think about.

The clients I saw coming out of Prada invited me to join them for dinner but I am tired and want an early night so I go by myself to Academia Pizza and go to bed early.

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