Italian Tenor, Venetian Beer and Murano Glass

Friday, June 1

Our hotel is sweet, lovely, and the breakfast room is very quiet. You can sit inside, on the outdoor terrace, or inside in the wisteria-covered terrace. This morning someone was singing on the other side of the canal. A beautiful Italian tenor, maybe one of the gondoliers. They often have great voices.

Walking again all over the city you cannot cover everything and there is so much to see. We talked to art people, people at breakfast, the next table over at lunch. Everyone has a great story. The open market was great fun and I have spotted some beads for jewelry for the olive house retail store. Katie went off to explore and we took a water taxi to Murano to see the glass blowers and consider some olive oil decanters. The salesmen there can sell an old boat to a fisherman, You have to be very aware of the costs, tax, and shipping. We then walked all over Murano sampling gelato and exploring the huge number of shops. All set up for tourists and their money. The glass is really extraordinary and whoever makes the pieces are steeped in many many years of history.

We took the water taxi back to meet up with Katie for a glass of prosecco and dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. We had arancina, which are small rice balls filled with cheese and fried or roasted. Then an eggplant caponata, which was fabulous. It is roasted eggplant with onions, olives, some seasonal vegetables, and tomatoes and oil and vinegar and marinated overnight. Just great with bread and oil. We had risotto frutti de mare, rice cooked with seafood, a very distinctive seafood taste. Quite interesting presentation with mussels, shrimp and scallops. Espresso for dessert. We watched people in the square and Katie took some beautiful pictures of a little old Italian gentleman entertained by kids with balloons. Very perfect. ( pictures to come). More gelato. This time pompello, grapefruit, clean fresh and light for after dinner. Also sour cherry, espresso, lemon, and chocolato. then home to bed with the sounds of boats on the canal and church bells through the night.


Saturday, June 2

Up early, great church bells again from the church of Campo Santo Maria de Zobenigo, literally 20 feet from our hotel. Breakfast then off to the market for antique beads, glass and beautiful people. We purchased some pictures from a favorite artist. We walked to Piazzo San Marco and went to the art exhibit of Gustav Klimpt. He was a very well-known Austrian artist. Just being able to see his pictures, statues and architecture in the San Marco Museum was a really special event. Then a little lunch at a restaurant that specializes in truffles. Twenty five large Black truffles in a huge basket, very expensive.(pics to come). We only had soup and salad and a Venetian beer, we have had too much gelato. Out walking again and stopped in to a small shop with wax presses. We picked out two scripts of F for Il Fiorello. In talking with the shop owne,r we found out that she is originally from Richmond, CA, now living here. She is a glass blower and artist. Her glass blowing friends live in Richmond, CA., and will make handblown decanters for us for our oil. Sometimes this is a very small world but this is a great find for us. She returns to The U..S often and we will enjoy meeting her in the U.S. and hopefully again in Venice. As her web site comes up very soon we will add her to our private lists.

Then a short nap and off to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. This is a small museum within walking distance of the hotel in the Desordoura district. It houses an amazing collection of modern art collected by Peggy Guggenheim during the early 1900’s. The museum is very impressive. Check it out on the web. Their espresso and tartufo vanilla ice cream are lovely.

Then back to the hotel for a nap and a cool off with cold proseco and a shower. It is hot and very humid here, over 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity. Everyone sweats a lot and drinks a lot of water. Do not come to Venice in the summer, too hot and too many tourists.

Our new friend glass blower suggested a restaurant on the other side of St. Mark’s Square, Trattoria la Rimagio. To our surprise we walked up to the very restaurant that we had enjoyed 5 years ago when we were here last. Specializing in Venetian fish dishes we dug in and had carpacio of fish with grapefruit and olive oil, parma ham sliced very thin, hugh shrimp, frito misto of fresh fish, and mussels. Another glass of proseco, white wine from Alegheri vineyards, which we visited last time in Italy. They are the descendants of Dante. The vineyard is more than 450 years old. We waddled home along the grand canal and packed as our water taxi leaves at 7:30 am for the airport. We put Katie on a plane home as she has to begin her diving research this week in San Diego. Jet lag will no doubt have an effect on her endurance. We will drive to Lake Garda for 2 days of exploration and a rest.