Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday in Venice: Sunny, Hot and LOST!

We woke up well rested and ready to go this morning!  Our plan for the morning was to go back to the market area, specifically to see the fish market.

We walked through those great produce stalls on the way to the fish market, just look at these beautiful veggies, especially the zucchini blossoms:

And we have no idea what these are:
The fish market is a very busy place, with many Venetian locals buying fish or seafood for their dinner. We saw so many things we'd like to try, but our apartment is rather "light" on cooking equipment, so we are keeping meals very simple.  But just look at all this interesting seafood:

This young man is cleaning squid and saving the black ink.  They use it in a pasta dish that I'm hoping to try it while we're here.

We also saw a few things we'd just as soon NOT try:
We didn't buy any squid, skate or horse meat, or fuzzy unidentified fruit--but we did buy 3 lemons to use in my new favorite drink: Lovely Italian Limoncello mixed with sparkling water and a slice of fresh lemon.  Very delicious and refreshing--and that limoncello is only 30% alcohol!  Yikes--one small drink is my limit!

Next up: The Leonardo de Vinci Museum.  We had read about this, and it sounded right up our alley--we are such geeks sometimes.  They have replicas of many of his inventions, all displayed with  reproductions of his drawings.  Very fascinating, and some of the models you can actually try!  The list of things he designed is long, and includes early versions of things we still use today.  There was also a display case with a few of his original writings, very neat to see!  Our favorite, of course, was the bicycle.  Unfortunately, this was not one that we could try out!

 Did you know Leonardo also designed an early version of a diving costume, complete with breathing apparatus?
We spent a lot of time marveling over his many brilliant inventions and ideas, and by now it was lunch time.  We found an outdoor cafe in a nice little piazza, split a sandwich and a beer.  A pretty yummy lunch!  We walked on a bit, and had our first gelato of the day (yes, we have had a couple a day!), this time dark chocolate and hazlenut--seriously delicious!

And then, we got very lost!  We were trying to find a certain church--we could see the tall tower in the distance--but couldn't quite get there.  We were like two rats in a maze-- walking around in circles. We wandered for a long time; it was sunny, we were hot and tired.  So we just gave up!  We finally found a vaparetto stop--and got on the very next one that came along--we didn't even care where it was going, we just wanted to stop going in circles!  We stayed on board, and it eventually came to a stop we recognized, so we got right off.  It is soooo easy to get lost in Venice.  They say that is part of the charm, but we didn't feel too charmed for a while there!

After all that, we deserved a second gelato--dark chocolate and caramel this time, mmmm good!

We thought we'd check out San Marco square, and see just how long the line was for the church.  Not bad at all, so in we went.

WOW!  This was probably our 2nd favorite church this trip, right after St. Denis in Paris.  It is very different--just covered in beautiful ornate gold mosaics, marble columns and very intricate inlaid marble floors.  Again, no photos allowed in the church, darn it!  But I did sneak one from right outside the exit, just look at that beautiful mosaic work.  It really glows when the sun hits it, it is truly amazing work.  Much of the church is covered in this mosaic:

It is very hard to get a picture of the exterior, as there are buildings all around, so one can't get far enough away.  But here is the best I could do, which doesn't do it justice.  The exterior is also very detailed and ornate.  You can see that the upper left part is under wraps.
Our day was drawing to a close, so we wandered back to our apartment, taking a new route.  Looked into a few interesting shops, poked our heads into some bakeries and looked at deserts, but nothing caught our eye.  We found a wonderful glass shop with beautiful work, not that awful imported crap that we are seeing everywhere.  We had a lovely conversation with the owner, who is a 3rd generation glass worker.  He had some amazing work--especially the Venetian glass chandeliers.

We cooked a nice dinner of orrichetti pasta in butter garlic sauce with fresh parmigiano reggiano (sp?) cheese, some more of the delicious romanesco, and a green salad.  We even have leftovers for tomorrow!
Tomorrow in Venice:  a boat ride to Murano and Burano.  We are hoping we don't get lost!


  1. Wonderful again. The church, the museum, the veggies and even seafood...all great pictures. Sorry you got lost! But the sound of those gelatos....dark chocolate and hazlenut. They sound so good. I'd like the carmel one too. Have fun tomorrow...can't wait to see and hear about that adventure...

  2. I couldn't wait to get home and see what you did on Tuesday...Interesting "things" in the white cherry box - is that a chestnut of some sort? Your dinner looks Yummy- Very beautiful church- almost outside as well as from a distance. Are the people friendly or all in a hurry walking to and from? What are the "common homes"like? Patiently awaiting the Murano experience!

  3. Sounds like another full day. the church was beautiful --too bad they dont allow pictures, but imagine it is to preserve the mosaics. Amazing the things that Leonardo invented and it would be wonderful to spend time in the museum.

    The gelatos sound really yummy---with all the walking you are doing, I would agree that youo must wbe working them off.

    Looking forward to pictures from Murano---the glass should be very impressive.

  4. The glass scultures in the public places look amazing. I am glad that you were able to find your bugs although I think you could have left the spider and gone with a praying mantis---but then you know me and spiders.

    I don't think I am as adventurous as you in my eating--that squid ink pasta looked pretty scary and I hate to say it but the pasta looked almost like worms moving through dirt. David's pizza looked really good and probably more my speed.

    Italy looks wonderful and I am really enjoying the pictures.