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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Lagoon Islands, Italy

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Join us on a summer tour on the Amalfi Coast, in Provence, or in Amsterdam/Belgium

The morning deliveries are coming in as we glide down the Grand Canal – just one stop, then we’ll walk to the north side of the island and catch the vaporetto for a 40 minute sail to the outer islands.

We get off at quiet Mazzorbo, where you can almost hear the grapes growing in the hush,

then cross the long bridge to Burano 

for a quick cup of coffee and a short stroll beside the brilliant homes.

Then back on a boat for a 5 minute trip to Torcello, where this island nation began centuries ago, in the first millenium.
A nun is telling her class tales of their ancient heritage – what a privilege to go on a field trip in such an historic place!

We pass a few trattorias, grass trimmed, flowers abundant, tables ready for lunch-time diners, and come to the core of Torcello, with the 13th century church of Santa Maria Assunta. Inside, the exquisite byzantine mosaics are the star of the island – a beautiful piece of ancient history still intact.

Attila’s chair provides a convenient photo op, then we head back to Burano,

its bright colors quite a contrast to the quiet stones of Torcello. You’ve heard the tale, no doubt – these bright colors made it easy for returning fishermen to spot their own home as they returned from the sea.

Gatto Nero has our table ready, right by the canal,

and we feast on fresh seafood to our stomach’s content – here, Sarde in Saor, a lagoon specialty of fresh sardines in a sweet and sour onion sauce.

More colors await us after lunch,

and a glance at the tilting tower of Burano’s church – doesn’t look like it’s any worse than last year!

The long ride back is a prime opportunity for a nap after that delicious lunch, then one more Venetian treat awaits – an evening cruise through the back lanes of San Marco and Castello neighborhoods, our multi-tasking gondolier telling us tales of the buildings we pass, crouching under bridges, chatting on his cell phone, pushing off a wall or two.

An intriguing sky shimmers across the water as we stroll by Saint Marks Basilica,

and as we walk to dinner we’re stopped time and again by the beauty of the sunset-blushed canals.

A light dinner is plenty after our abundant lunch,

and our perch beside the Giudecca Canal is the perfect place to take in the sunset as we dine.

There’s just nowhere like Venice, is there?!