Dinner and Sunday

Venice has been likened to Disneyland and it is a little like Las Vegas – it never sleeps. We can hear people all night if the window is open. Almost like those two fantasy places – except old.

For dinner Saturday night we walked the streets and seriously considered Bancogiro again. But we found a cute place that turned out to be the oldest restaurant in Venice.

And inside

This is probably my third favorite restaurant so far. I had a seafood salad that was wonderful with octopus in it!

Canneloni stuffed with cheese and in a cream sauce

My Cuttlefish Veniziane style – very dark and a different texture and taste – good but not as good as the salad and some other meals (therefore the 3rd place rating) Bill had a fish filet with vegetables that was fine.

Dessert was pear cake, ice cream with orange and chocolate sauce. Yummy!

Walked off a bit of the dinner, saw a political rally (elections were the next two days) and a square with nightclubs and many young people.

The next day we went out to do a tiny bit if shopping and then we took the vaporetto and walked to the car park (near the train station) – as close as cars get to the islands. There we met

Siberian cat breeders Cristiana and Petro and they drove us to see Palmanova and their house and if course cats. Pictures are in the other camera.1

Then they took us to Mestre where we met the Burnsville band trip at Antony Hotel, a much larger, newer but still nice hotel in the outskirts of Mestre – a larger more modern city very near Venice but on the mainland. Dinner was at the hotel and typically had pasta course and a main course. Good food but typical of large banquet type food.

S Marco and the Vaporetto

The title pretty much sums up the day – we started out to San Marco after breakfast in our pensione – also pictures from the lobby of Pensione Guerrato, a former (800 yr old building) convent in the Mercato (market) area.

First stop was one of the oldest medieval churches in Venice right near our hotel.

Then we queued up to get in the Basilica – sorry no pictures are allowed although I was able to get one from the entrance on my other camera (without flash) but it might be out of focus due to low light. The outside is very ornate with lots of Eastern influence and the inside goes along – gold leaf everywhere, very ornate and fairly dark and HUGE. Not so large and tall as the Duomo in Florence but big still.

There are not many places to sit in the piazza, and the police will make you move if you sit on the ground. There are several restaurants with outside seating but you have to pay a cover charge and eat/drink there to sit. We did and and it was a wonderful place to relax over coffee and lunch and people watch.

I didn’t get the picture on this camera but there is a 3-4 piece “orchestra” behind us playing classical music and some people danced as they walked by.

Next we boarded the vaporetto by St Marks and rode a couple of different lines around the islands and grand canal. That took a couple of hours and between the sun and the wind I am burned a bit – did I mention that it was sunny today? Guess the owner of our hotel in Varenna was right when he said the Italian weather forecasters lie – it was supposed to rain.

Ended up walking on the back side of our restaurant from last night and saw they had outdoor canalside seating during the day so stopped for a refreshing drink called “Spritz” but other than wine, orange juice and seltzer – the other ingredient was not familiar. We had little appetizers too.

The Venezia hat I bought due to the sun.

Venice at night

After dinner we wandered little streets and squares

and then walked to San Marco Piazza and just looked around – it’s very lit up at night.

In one photo you can see the raised platforms they put up to allow people to be above flood waters that often happen at high tide.

Basilica is kind of spooky at night

Below note the platforms

Rialto bridge at night

Rode the vaporetto home and got to bed about midnight.

Venice the first day

Venice is so picturesque but too bad it’s cloudy – and probably will be cloudy or raining the whole 4 days we are in the area. We walked and found an interesting lunch place with only Italians there and ironically it turned out to be an Italian chain – probably 20 of them around Italy. Food was good but “nothing to write home about” – although I guess I am…

After lunch we walked more streets and found this fun kids playground equipment – like a trampoline with a belt that keeps you in place….kids must live it – like mini-bungee jumping

then took the Vaporetto around the grand canal and to Lido and back.

Again too bad it’s cloudy.

We took an hour or two break (in my case a nap)

Then we walked around down mostly smaller uncrowded streets

and came upon an interesting square with a ristorante that on ground level was a wine bar and upstairs tables for dinner. Wonderful bustling and good looking waiters with leather aprons – wait that came out wrong (but couldn’t resist leaving it in). They did wear leather aprons though. Unfortunately it was too dark to photograph the food but it was beautifully presented. We had watched the chef preparing plates while we waited 10 min or so to get a table and his attention to detail convinced us it was worth the wait. We only heard one table of about about 9 where English was spoken. The outside

downstairs watching the chef

Wine bar

Upstairs

Sorry not great pictures but ambiance was wonderful and food was maybe the best we’ve had and wonderful local wine! Bill rated Billy’s in Manarola as best and I lean towards this. Katie, you would have lived this… Here is what was so good – translations from the menu Appetizer was sea bass capaccio with buffalo mozarella and yogurt mint dressing, primi course was gnocchi with herbs, scallops and red chicory, secundi was ombrina (a whitefish) with basil and ginger with asparagus. We shared those courses. Dessert I had Ventian creme on biscuits and Bill had Rice roll with pineapple and spicy chocolate.

The building was a bank and where rich venetians send servants to collect or pay debts -so as not to dirty their hands with handling money.

On to Venice

Train we wanted to Venice is booked so waiting for the next one.

While we wait here is a picture of the elevator (max 2 people) in our hotel – lobby is on the 4th floor.

Here is how we fit with our backpack suitcases – the light aqua and pink is me.

Took one wrong turn walking the 1/2 mile to the train station and found an awesome church – Bill’s comment was “another pretty church”. Pictures are on the other camera.

Goodbye for now to Florence – we will be back in 4 days for a few hours with the band tour group.

And we are in Venice – view from our pensione looking down at the vegetable and fruit market and Grand Canal.