Mama and I meant to wake up early, but that’s pretty hard to do when you’re on vacation. After hitting the snooze button, we woke up and left a bit after 10. We were both hungry but our main priority was to get to the train station and buy out tickets to Florence and Rome. The line was really long so thank goodness we were able to use their new ticket machines (the older looking ones were impossible to figure out). We were out of there quickly and headed for breakfast. Cappucinos and a cannoli. Since we walked through Cannaregio and San Marco on our first day we headed towards the San Polo and Dorsoduro today.
For lunch we split a huge dish of pesto pasta, a platter of cheeses and a light red wine. The restaurant wasn’t off the beaten path but the tables were set up under a canopy of vines in an outdoor garden so that was nice. One thing I am quickly learning is that I don’t like be hassled. Venice is gorgeous and everyone has been nice but the men that stand outside the restaurants really do try to drag you inside to eat! One man even shoved a tomato in my mom’s mouth. When we asked for our check after lunch (in Italian: Vorrei il conto per favore) they kept asking, “Cannoli? Cappucino? Whiskey? No conto! Dessert and coffee!” They proceeded to leave us waiting for the check for nearly a half an hour. We had to ask 3 times!
But on the other hand I have fallen in love with their gelato. We had Grom’s the first day. Dark chocolate and the flavor of the day for me (some crema flavor with all this stuff mixed in) and dark chocolate and coffee for my mom. She liked it so much she won’t try new flavors. Today I had milk chocolate and mint chocolate chip which was delish. I fully intend to try two new scoops a day while we’re here.
After lunch we headed to Piazza San Marco which was still crazy from the Pope’s visit. People were already packing in to watch him leave the city two hours before he was scheduled to depart! We headed in the opposite direction of the action in search of a palace where part of a James Bond movie was shot. Honestly, the best part of about this city has been wandering around back streets and along little canals. The buildings are so pretty and intricate.
My favorite activity of the day was when we took the #1 vaporetto back from the other end of the Grand Canal after dinner (pizza, of course). The ride to our stop was about 30 minutes and we got to watch the skyline turn from dusk to dark. The views along the canal are amazing and if only my camera battery didn’t die I probably would have taken a hundred pictures. I also tried a bit of polenta with dinner. It is a regional dish of boiled cornmeal. Not the most flavorful but it’s supposed to be great with meats and fish. I don’t eat either but I figured, when in Venezia… I’m glad I tried it and it wasn’t bad with a little salt and pepper.
Oh and I love the Italian language!