Venetian Neighborhoods

Venetian Neighborhoods

Saturday-Sunday, January 2-3, 2016
Venice, Italy

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Prague and Budapest, or Venice and the Veneto – join us!

Well not every day of the year can be as exquisite as the first one was yesterday…and Saturday the 2nd was rainy and gray, the kind of day that would be best to just stay inside by a cozy fire. But with only 2 days left in Venice, we venture out, hooded and umbrella-ed, for a bit of exploration nearby, frequently darting inside for a snack or a meal. We’ve never taken time to see the original Ghetto before…where that name was first used in the 1500s for the island on which the Jews of Venice were isolated. The rain was so heavy it was tough to get any photos  – so here’s our lone example, a door with Hebrew lettering,01021601 ghetto hebrew and menorah and a mezuza slot on the doorpost.
The rain finally lessened after dark, and we enjoyed a bit of window-shopping – intriguing antiques and objets d’art here,01021602 decor shop and fantastical wigs for upcoming Carnevale there. 01021601 order carnevale wig hereSunday dawned sunny and beautiful again, and we took a roundabout way, walking along canals where we haven’t been before, 01031601 dorsoduro bound through new to us areassuch as this one with FIVE bridges visible at one intersection, 01031601 bridges 5to the Dorsoduro sestiere. Venice is divided into six neighborhoods, called sestiere, and Dorsoduro, literally “hard back”  – the backbone of Venice along the Giudeca Canal – has always been a favorite of ours.
Looks like we’re not the only ones who like this neighborhood – there’s a traffic jam on that little bridge!01031601 jam traffic on a little canalAnd this harlequin seems to say “welcome to my shop!”01031601 welcome to my shopStopping to peer into artisans’ windows, some crafting paper, others silk scarves, others forcolas, the handsome wooden fulcrum for a gondola oar, we take in the open-air museum of Venice. Across the San Trovaso canal is one of the few squeros, gondola workshops, left in the city. 01031602 hats and gondolasSee the gondoliers hats hung on the wall? Satisfied customers, no doubt!
And on this side Bar Il Squero has just what we’ve been wanting – a mouthwatering selection of cicchetti, snacks, 01031602 il squerojust waiting to be nibbled with a glass of prosecco! In Budapest, we fit in a café stop every afternoon, with decadent pastries and coffee. Here in Venice, we go for cicchetti each afternoon or early evening…delicious bites (such as gorgonzola spread topped with walnuts or artichokes) with a glass of bubbly. LOVE this tradition!
We’ve made it to the Accademia bridge, an ideal perch for views towards San Marco,01031602 top of bridge view one way or, on the other side, the Grande Curva of the Grand Canal, 01031602 top of bridge view the other grande curva and 2 su paddlersthe most coveted palazzo real estate, we’ve been told.
A late lunch at always delicious Taverna San Trovaso01031603 always delish tav san trovasoa Venice institution where the food is still great, the service friendly and knowledgeable, and the prices quite reasonable, even though it’s made it into all the guidebooks.
Then our wander continues, along the Grand Canal, 01031603 canal grande vistasover to the Giudeca side of the neighborhood for a sunset view,01031603 sunset strolland the long way back to our apartment, to catch a view of the prettiest holiday decor in town, by San Barnaba.01031603 walk long way home to see lights by san barnabaVenice – you’re a delight in every season!

Venetian Art – Both Visible and Edible!

Venetian Art – Both Visible and Edible!

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Venice, Italy

rested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!

We’ve enjoyed one gorgeous sunny day after another, but today the threatened rain has REALLY arrived. Fortunately, we’re scheduled to be inside this morning, at the renowned Accademia Museum. The art, of course, is amazing.
But what first catches my eye is the gorgeous ceiling – completely covered with gilded angel faces haloed with golden wings, gazing down on us as we peruse the paintings.

After miles of masterpieces, during which we keep checking out the windows – yep, still raining – we decide to dash to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

More art – straight from the lagoon and onto the plate at Taverna San Trovaso

Candice holds up one of the tiny octopus from her antipasti platter – – “this reminds me of the Salute dome with the curlicues below”.

Yes – I can see the resemblance.

It’s a terrific meal, one of the best of the trip, in a cozy place, perfect for this rainy day. They treat us to a Venetian specialty, sgroppino ( a concoction of lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco whipped together til frothy) as we finish – finger-lickin’good!

We had planned a gondola ride to Palazzetto Bru Zane for a tour and concert today, arriving at the private water entrance, but the weather has not co-operated. We would have arrived soaked, I’m afraid. So we enter on foot through the lovely garden,

and Katia gives us a wonderful tour of this beautifully restored treasure.

Frescoes surround and top the staircase,

and Katia
tells us that the putti bodies are filled with old straw, and their wings protruding from the ceiling are made of wood… all so carefully restored to ancient perfection.

Generations ago some of the frescoes were covered with plaster, and the workers had to chip the ancient artwork to get the plaster to stick. She points out that the appreciative workmen avoided chipping the faces of the figures, seeing the value in their beauty.

Returning to Hotel Flora after the concert, virtuoso works of Dukas and Ravel performed by an outstanding Parisian artist, we stop in the cozy lobby for Spritzes.

And when we walk along the edge of Saint Mark’s Basin later, we’re happy to see that the storm is obviously moving away – a clearcut line of clouds moves up and away. Tomorrow we’ll be back to sunshine!