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A Weekend in Venice

Friday night

There was a high tide; not quite "acqua alta" but enough to fill San Marco with ankle deep puddles. The shops and cafes must have been gnashing their teeth, because the crowds were much thinner than you would expect for a Friday. But the water enhanced the party atmosphere; one magical moment: a couple dancing in the water, as the lights from the piazza reflected and twinkled, and the band played, inexpicably, "New York, New York"

Saturday

Grand Canal from Rialto bridge

There was a thunderstorm in the night and in the morning it was blessedly cool and drizzly. I slept in, then went out in the morning for internet and some food shopping. Quite by accident, I stumbled on a lovely place that sells roasted chickens!

In the afternoon, took the vaporetto down the back way, past Giudecca and along the Zattere. I got off before the cruise ships and walked through to San Polo, where I went to Santa Maria Gloriosi dei Frari, to see the magnificent Titian "Assumption of the Virgin", justly famous. I then wandered through the rather nice shops towards the Rialto. I want to go back there, as there were some that were closed and I also know there's a famous chocolate shop there, which I didn't find.

Today's gelato: excellent myrtillia and mango, in the Campo dei Friari, losing a few points for snoot.

I met a very nice British couple who are now living in Cypress and were here on a cruise. They were exhausted and thoroughly lost, trying to make their way back to San Marco, so I offered to guide them and did so successfully.

My bed (a roll-away futon type affair) has some kind of fatal injury to itself. It will no longer roll up into a couch and sags in the middle. My landlady is coming on Monday to pick up sheets and towels, so I will have to tell her about it. Hope she doesn't think it's my fault!

Sunday

In which I get sand between my toes and go for a long bike ride.

looking out on the Adriatic

I decided to go to the Lido today, and it was a lovely outing for a Sunday, despite the crowds on the Vaporetto. It might not have been the best day to choose to go there, but I rather liked seeing all the Italians doing family things together on their day off. It was nice to go somewhere that _Italians_ wanted to go on a day out rather than to somewhere touristy. The street stalls were selling beach-balls and buckets and spades rather than tacky "I love Venezia" t-shirts.

As an aside, it's interesting how one, when being a tourist, tries so hard to avoid "touristy" things, or being taken for a tourist...

You can rent bikes at a place right by the Vaporetto stop, and the Lonely Planet suggests this as the best way to see the area. It was. I had a lovely day cruising around almost the entire island, stopping once or twice to go down to the beach and get my feet wet in the Adriatic and frequently to take photos.

Lido Beach huts

The beach was nice, but full of beach huts and deck-chairs which, of course, you have to pay to sit in. To me, the water was as warm as bath-water, but no-one was swimming - there was a fairly strong wind and some surf and I guess considered not suitable for swimming by the locals. I liked seeing all the families together, making lunch complete with wine in their huts. I liked the fact that a bit of cellulite and a belly didn't stop women "of a certain age" from wearing bikinis.

The rest of the area was green and quiet, with flower lined canals and lovely vistas across the lagoon to La Serenissima.

Lido canal

Oh, and I had the BEST gelato - mango and strawberry, with extra points for friendly service.

I got home around five, very very tired, and had a nap until supper time. I went out to a little bar around the corner to buy some pizza. There were two plates with seemingly identical piezzetta's (like individual thick crust pizzas), labelled "mixte" which I think translates roughly "the works." I pointed at one and the host asked "which one"? I gestured something that said "what's the difference?" and he said "this one has mozzarella, tomato, ham, salami. This one... mmm... is the same" So I had that one, "to walk" and brought it home where I ate it with a salad. Yum.

Today ... I'm not sure: I need another cool top, as I'm getting tired of the two I've been wearing. I'm thinking also possibly of the Peggy Guggenheim today, as it's one of the few museums open on Monday. Till next time, Ciao!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
tree_and_leaf
Jun. 22nd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Great pictures - sounds like you're having a great time!
heleninwales
Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
You seem to be having a great time. I love the photos and the ice cream sounds delicious.
asakiyume
Jun. 22nd, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
mango and strawberry gelato sounds delicious. We made strawberry ice cream yesterday :-)


winifredbrant
Jun. 22nd, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
What a superb proxy vacation I'm having! Each time I check in, I find I've been somewhere that I couldn't be more pleased with. Your record is equally vivid in words and in images, Intertext. Where next?
lidocafe
Jun. 22nd, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Sounds like blissful times. It's good to have a knack for enjoying yourself. Also, of course, a ticket to Venice is also good to have! Looking forward to hearing more.
yawayboy1
Jun. 23rd, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
I can't thank you enough for the wonderful photos, and terrific tour you are shareing with all of us who can't go in person!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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