Venice, April 2016
Diary of my trip to Venice, April 2016. A beautiful city, we explored pretty much everywhere you could go including the famous St. Marco's square, and the charming Islands of Burano and Murano...
We walked around St Marco square, it was so hot! There was a celebration, Liberation Day, with huge crowds of people. During a surprise rain shower, we sheltered at a covered outside restaurant and I seafood tagliatelle and sipped prosecco by the canal. Afterwards we explored and wandered, walking throughout the city with no real direction just an eagerness to discover Venice. We sat and drank negronis as the sun set and then enjoyed more prosecco in a converted convent restaurant with swordfish carpaccio and gnocchi with scallops and soft shell crab. Delicious!
We took a boat out to beautiful Burano; it was like stepping out of real life and into an indie film with all the little colourful houses. I tried risotto di Go the local dish (risotto made with fish stock of the goby) and of course prosecco. When we got back from Burano, we then went to the Dodges palace, so many ornate ceilings! We went in search of a bar in Gardini then came back to St Marco and wandered till we found a charming little wine bar called TeAmo's and ate seafood lasagne.
We went to many art galleries and it was Jack's birthday! First, medieval art. Fantastic detail and a wonderful Tischen. Second; the most awful hipster modern art joint. Third, the Peggy Guggenheim. Faith in modern art restored. Favourite pieces were by Max Ernst and a quirky by the beach by Picasso. We then found an Italian Co-op and bought picnic food and spritz and carton wine to have a picnic on the island cemetery but we got there and discovered it was illegal to eat food there and it wasn't like a graveyard back home; just rows and rows of stones. It felt weird and intrusive being there, so we turned right around and got the boat back! We enjoyed drinks back at the hotel, rested up and went out for dinner at an lovely little seafood place. We had a special seafood tasting menu and I had scallop and pea linguine whilst Jack had anchovy gnocchi.
A nice and relaxed day, we started off visiting the island Murano. Saw some glass blowing and wandered around., bought some souvenirs and then headed back to Venice. A simple sandwich for lunch and then we visited Palazzo Grassi and saw a Sigmar Polke exhibition, which was pretty cool, Jack loved it. Then we rode some more boats and went out for dinner at La Bitta, a cosy and rustic little restaurant specialising in meat dishes. We both at veal liver, Venetian style. Delicious.
We went back to St. Marco and went up the tallest building in Venice; the Campille. You could see all around Venice. Then as we were making our way across to the Basilisca we saw a Chinese couple in wedding attire doing a very strange photo shoot! There were lots of pigeons flocking to them and she was posing in her wedding dress with them! Next, the Basilisca. A very ornate and beautifully crafted cathedral but also very busy! There was an amazing piece of paintings of the apostles, all decorated in gold and so many precious stones; it really made you gasp to see it. We also went into the treasury, which was filled with relics- there was even a small, shrivelled hand. After that we went in search of a tourist shop to buy some souvenirs but couldn't find it! We decided to head back to the hotel for a rest and to pack. After chilling out we headed back to Venice and to TeAmo's for cheese and wine tasting! First up was a fizzy sweet white paired with a softish cheese called brillo, which was aged with wine, next a sharper white with my favourite cheese of the night; verti di estarte, which was a cows milk cheese fermented with hay and wildflowers. It was like nothing I've tasted before; so delicious. Next we had prosecco with another cows milk cheese and this one had a line of wine running through it. Penultimate cheese and wine was a softer cheese again made with wine, and had had wine injected through it. This was paired with a smooth, fruity red. Last we as a special celebration blue cheese that was really good... Very soft, pungent and just delicious. This was accompanied by a port like red and a wonderful finale to the evening.