Friday, November 09, 2007

the improbable city

Wednesday we took the train to Venice, a city that should have sunk into the muck of the Adriatic generations ago but is still afloat. It was a clear, brisk day for this visit. We took the vaporetto from the train station to San Marco - I think it's the longest ride in the system and gives you a wonderful look at both sides of the canal. Just as I remembered, the pastel pallazzi shimmer in the morning sun, their colors softened by both a slight fog and age, the water lapping right up to the front doors. Gondolas were skimming over the water, little boats everywhere, and tourists queing up to get in the Doge Palace, the church, museums, milling around taking pictures of the Bridge of Sighs, among other marvels. We plunged into the interior streets, narrow, dark, damp (dank?) and headed for our little restaurant. Like homing pigeons, we found it first try! It is connected to the Hotel Mailbran which is right next door to the old Malibran Theatre. Lovely lunch; pasta with porcini (of course) and a pasta and bean soup for the Patient. More walking after lunch, through a part of the city we had not explored. Then we walked back to the train station, caught a fast train home, and were back by 5 o'clock. So what did you do today? Oh, went to Venice for lunch. Lovely, lovely day. Among other things we found an English lanugage book store where I bought a copy of David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" which I will start over the weekend, as soon as I finish my current read, "The Exception" by Christian Juergensen.

Yesterday was the big street market up in the main square. Walked through but came away empty handed. Then walked over to the adjacent square where the food wagons had once again opened up for business. This time the people selling the divine fish lasagne - pasticcio de pesce - were there. We bought a big slab of it for dinner. Absolutely wonderful! I have some left for my lunch today. I didn't take a picture; will do that next week when they return.

This afternoon we are going to get on a bus and go somewhere. Don't know where yet. Just get on and see where it goes. Always fun. Tomorrow we may go to Bassano del Grappa for the day. Found a good restaurant when we were there before. It had great polenta, and the Patient is craving it.


At 6:52 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Beautiful description of Venice. We received your Pitti postcard, thank you for that and for this incredible post. I had "trouble" with Cloud Atlas, but sometimes I'm a dunce even if I work in the big box. Speaking of which, I'd better get moving instead of losing myself in Italy...


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