Monday, June 18, 2012

Catching up - Part 2

Venice, June 8, 2012

Day 2 June 8 – today, we got out of the B&B around 10:00 am.  So much for heading out early to beat the crowds.  Florine and Petros headed off to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum while Irene and I made our way back to St. Mark’s.
A building on the Grand Canal on way to St. Mark's Square

A waterbus stop
Academia Bridge over the Grand Canal
The way to the square from the vaporetto was jammed with people.  Turned out that there was a 50th and 100th anniversary celebration of something to do with the Italian navy and all the big wigs were coming to the square for a ceremony.  Most of the square was closed off – no access to the tower and no walking across the square.  We kind of saw the President (of what we do not know but maybe Italy?) arrive at the square.  The basilica was still open but trying to figure out the end of the queue was something else.
Proud member of the Italian Navy who told us why the square was closed off

Military types at the square
Irene amidst the throng at St. Mark's Square

Big Italian flag at the square.

Tall ship at the harbour, there as part of the celebrations
We tried to head to the Bridge of Sighs and could not fight our way through the throng of tourists and ended up making our way to the bridge from a side street that was less crowded.  We took a couple of photos and gave up on the square and headed for the vaporetto to Murano.

Bridge of Sighs

And we managed to find a Chinese restaurant in Venice.  No, we did not eat in there.
In the meantime, Florine and Petros were at the Guggenheim.  The building was nice, the grounds were beautiful and the museum had a representative collection of modern art.  Florine enjoyed the visit; Petros preferred his art to be a lot more realistic and a lot less open to interpretation.

Back to the vaporetto to Murano – we took the scenic route (the long way from St. Mark’s) and it was about a 30 minute ride.  I might have nodded off for a while – the warmth, the boat ride, lack of sleep the night before…..  At Murano, we wandered into stores and bought some Murano glass pendants from a co-op.  We got a recommendation for lunch from the saleslady and we headed off to the restaurant for a nice light lunch of a caprese salad and bressola and arugula.  There was more walking and wandering in and out of stores and photo opportunities with bridges, canals, alleys and houses after lunch.  I watched a glass blower make a glass ball in one of the stores.  He looked like a Rasta with his long matted braids – I thought he looked Jamaican Chinese.  He seemed to know what he was doing, making a couple of delicate looking balls in a matter of minutes.

View of the square from the vaporetto

Arriving at Murano

Canal in Murano



Murano glass - art on the street

Kat in holiday mode in Murano
After having our fill of Murano, we headed to the vaporetto for our ride to Burano.  Burano is known for its lacework and this was in evidence in many of the stores on the island.  There were some really nice pieces and some grossly gaudy stuff.  Prices were pretty steep. We went into a cute little store and bought a glass fish pendant for mum and a pretty bracelet and matching earrings for Irene.  We watched the owner of the store make a dolphin pendant. His son wrapped up our purchases and told us that his father had been a glass worker for 47 years and that the family lived over the store. After that, we wandered around the mostly narrow streets, looking at stores and brightly painted homes for a while before heading to the waterbus stop for a vaporetto back to Venice.  This time, we took the more direct route to Fondamente Nove.  From there, we walked back to the B&B to meet up with Florine and Petros for dinner.


Irene in Burano


Burano - I think the main difference between Murano and Burano is that the colour of the houses are brighter and more intense in Burano (outside of the focus on glass in Murano and linen in Burano).
I asked Davide, the owner of the B&B, to recommend a restaurant for our dinner.  I told him we were interested in typical Venetian fare and he suggested Promisso Sposi, which was about a 5 minute walk from the B&B.  We headed over, and after promising that we would be out of there in 2 hours, we were given a table.  Of course, whether we get out in 2 hours or not would really depend on them feeding us in good time. While we were standing by the bar, waiting to be seated, we saw an interesting array of prepared dishes which apparently, were served to patrons drinking at the bar.  We asked our waiter to bring us a sampling of the anchovies, sardines and octopus after we were seated.  The food was yummy.  The marinated anchovies were great.  I was not as keen on the stuffed sardines but Petros and Irene liked them a lot.  The octopus with potatoes and celery was very tasty.  The restaurant got quite busy during the time we were there.  

Trattoria Al Promessi Sposi

Bar food

Razor clams

Black and White pasta with squid

We were sitting by the window and we could see a bit of a queue at one point.  I don’t remember how long dinner took but we managed to have a white chocolate mousse dessert and Petros and Irene had expressos (Irene’s was a decaf) before we left.  We all agreed that dinner was great.   Irene and I went back to the B&B while Florine and Petros decided to go for a walk to work off some of their dinner.
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That's catching up - part 2.  The next part will take us to Riomaggiore in Cinque Terra, but that will have to wait for another day.  Ciao!

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