Venice!

We are in Venice and not only that, we are here for a month! We are sharing an apartment with a friend and have all sorts of plans.

We didn’t get into Venice until after sundown so arrived in the dark, something new to me. I have to admit that I like going along the canals in the day time best but it was still lovely.

Behind our place is this private palazzo and they occassionally have parties there with these purple lights. I wonder if I could ever get an invitation despite my lack of Italian?

I love seeing windows lit up at night and these are especially nice.

There is a little bar next to our place that we really like so we went there as soon as we unloaded our suitcases for a spritz cocktail, very popular in Italy.

The bar has new ownership and a new bartender who was a showman, flipping things around and pouring from on high. We were told that he is one of the best bartenders in Venice.

Three Days, Two Nights

We had a chance to be with friends for a short time (Two nights, three days) in Venice. It’s not long enough but no way was I turning it down. As always, it was fabulous.

Of course I took photos of many canals and bridges.

Obligatory shot of gondolas with their blue tarps.

One of several Spritzs made of Aperol, an orange liquor, Proseco and a bit of carbonated water. So pretty, so tasty, and such a part of Italy.

I’m usually not a fan of Italian pastries but these were exceptionally light and tender and, of course, chocolate.

The only bridge in Venice with three arches.

Madonnas are everywhere and I thought this one was especially charming, especially with the flowers.

Another madonna on the corner of a wall.

Italian Food and Drink

I love Italian food. I try and make a few dishes of my own when I cook but they never taste as good. We had some great lasagne with about twelve layers of pasta, very thin, and not a lot of sauce as I tend to do. So good.

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This is fritelle, a pastry that is only made during carnival. It is either plain or filled with cream or custard.

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Here are two with bites taken. I ate quite a few while there.

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We had a cocktail called a Spritz every day. It’s made with an orange liqueur, prosecco-an Italian champagne, and soda. It tastes like Italy to me.

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Maurice had beer one time at a little place and it came out in this cute glass boot.

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There is a boat on one canal selling fruit and vegetables.

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Pretty pasta for sale in a window.

Always Magical

This isn’t my first trip to Venice but it seems like the first time whenever I find myself there again. What other city is composed entirely of canals and bridges and gondolas as taxis? What other city has no cars or motorcycles to dodge or walk around? What other city has such fantastic architecture? I got lost several times while there but I knew if I kept walking and crossing bridges I would eventually be able to get where I wanted to go. Maurice, as a late birthday present, took me there to be followed by the voyage home on the famous train, the Orient Express. I have a lot to say about that but, first, Venice.

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We flew by plane into Venice and I actually got to see it as we landed. I could see four huge cruise ships and, a couple of times, we saw them making one making its way up the Grand Canal with the help of two tug boats.

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This was our hotel and it was really nice. It’s a short walk from Saint Mark’s Square and we had a room facing the Grand Canal so we could see tourists pouring in every morning to see the city and then leave every evening. Next time, though, we are going to stay in a quieter area on the other side of the Grand Canal called the Dorsoduro.

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The sun always wakes me up but it’s hard to complain when you get a sunrise view like this.

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Or this.

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We went to the Dorsoduro area of Venice on the morning we arrived. Did I mention we had to get up at 4 AM to catch a 7 AM flight? We were exhausted and hungry by 10 AM. We saw this little place and went in.

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There we had our first Spritz cocktail of our visit made with Aperol and Proseco. They add an olive to the drink here in Venice which I hadn’t seen before. We drank this before it was even 11AM. Why not?

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The Venetians have their own style of tapas called cicheti and not only were they very good, they were very affordable. We had them for meals several times while in Venice.

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Italian shutters. I love how they open at the bottom. I saw them in Nice too.

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Not everyone there is on vacation.

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This is a doorbell. I saw several like this-heads of lions with the button for the bell in the mouth.

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Little religious shrines everywhere.

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There were posters advertising a flower fete coming up. Wouldn’t you love to see gondolas full of flowers all over the canals?

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A pretty view down an alley.

More photos to come.