Category Archives: Italy: Fall 2013

Adventure in Italy: Venice, Day 8

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imageTurn back the hands of time — it’s moving too fast!

Waking up early in Venice is the only way you will ever have her to yourself … or almost. Today, we connected with the very talented Marco Secchi, a renowned photographer, for a morning photo tour. The city does wake early, but it’s a different city in the wee hours; a quiet beauty takes over. Marco, born and raised in Venice, showed us the back streets, introduced us to the good food and unveiled just enough of this mysterious city to make us feel at home. You could keep peeling back the layers like a onion and still not know Venice, with so much history taking place behind masks in the quiet back allies. Intriguing, fascinating and enchanting.

 

The rest of the day was spent with food, vino, a trip to the famed Hotel Danieli — cited as one top five luxury hotels of the world — and joy-filled wandering. Venice does have great art and sights to see, and on previous trips, I have basked in their glory. The city itself is Venice’s top attraction. On this short trip, I’ll stick to ogling the city that was. A city of majestic reign, still holding her head high with the dignity she deserves.

wineA little addendum for you wine lovers out there… Tonight’s bounty: Brilliant cichetti (snacks) to go and vino in a plastic water bottle. Sound bad? Like really bad? It’s not, I can assure you of that.

At a little wine shop in Venice on the San Polo side of the Rialto is a tiny wine shop with old school jugs that will refill bottles. I was on the run, but I know what I like. I chose a Cab Franc from the Veneto, they filled my “water bottle” for 3 Euros — and off I ran. After promising my Mom she would not get a blinding headache, we had it with our “dinner” to go. It was local and brilliant, I promise. Blindfold me and I’d tell you it was a fine wine, and so it was! Salute!

Adventure in Italy: Venice, Day 7

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The Cafe Florian, San Marco, seafood, and an almost swim in the lagoon — just another day in Venice!

Arriving in Venice, I’m willing to bet, never loses its charm. It has lost nothing on me since I first arrived 18 years ago. It was my first voyage out of the country, and I’m afraid I fell for it hard — and the love affair is still going strong. It’s a slice of history where opulent beauty reigned supreme and great wealth left behind a city of dreams. There is much to see and do in Venice, but for me, simply walking the city is the best “sight” of all.

image-1On the agenda: Cafe Florian, established as one of the first coffeehouses in Venice in 1720. It was the only coffeehouse that allowed women. I wonder if that is why Casanova was a known regular?

Today it is simply enchanting, but the staffers do resemble modern day Casanovas. I wonder if it’s a job requirement? Or am I simply in Italy? Either way, a visit here is memorable, and fuels you with the energy to keep wandering.

I’ve long been inspired by the fog of Venice, which appears as if the canals spray a mist up from their depths. It makes everything feel even more dream-like. Inspired by this view, with a setting sun of the Church of San Giorgio across the Adriatic from San Marco Square, I climbed down a few steps towards the Adriatic for a better view. That’s when it happened. I failed to notice how wet and slimy with moss a body of water can leave steps … and fell flat on my bum. Yup, I was that tourist that everyone runs to help and call out to out of concern. No harm done, but for a brief moment, I thought I might be going swimming. I was fine, and only gained notoriety for a brief moment — and I did get the photo!

From there, it was wandering, eating and wandering. The food is a feast from the sea and the cicheti (snacks) are amazing little niblets from the Adriatic. I think I’ll see if tomorrow I can make a meal of them. I am still exploring Venetian wine, but so far, so good! Buon appetito!