Sunday, June 28, 2015

Venice Days 2 and 3: Rialto Bridge and market, St. Marks, Murano glass, and relaxing (for once!)

Venice is a much more quaint (for a tourist area) than Rome or Florence.We were really able to do everything we had intended in a day, which left lots of leisure time and relaxing - a rarity on this vacation for me!

This is the view from our balcony.

On our second day in Venice, we went to Rialto Bridge and the Rialto Market.  I LOVED it! The best seafood outdoor market I've ever been to, hands down. They had a small selection of fresh and dried fruit, spices, and dried pastas as well, but the star of the show was the seafood.

Coming off of Rialto Bridge. 

Rialto Market

I could not resist getting all of the dried fruit available. Every piece was delicious - kiwi, pineapple, mango, papaya, clementine oranges, figs, apricots, plums, and green grapefruit. There was no sugar added and no sulfites or preservatives. The fruit was thick and soft, not thin and chewy (I feel most dried fruit is kind of like beef jerky a lot of the time.) Even with my giant paper bag I regretted not getting more. It was delicious.

They had everything here.

Fresh fish. 

Fresh fish, and fresher snails. They were alive and moving! (slowly)

Octopus. More fish. 

SWORDFISH. Obviously. 

Doug and I stopped at a small sidewalk cafe for some calzone, speciality bruschetta (basically, the flat bread with a ton of toppings) and some wine. Nothing special.

Doug likes his calzone and wine. Also, check out that lopside purple dress - yuck!

House specialty bruschetta. Good. 
We walked to St. Mark's Square again to check out the Basillica again - this time during the day. We've seen a LOT of churches - but this one was still beautiful. We didn't go inside and opted to admire it in the sun instead.

St. Mark's

St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's 

In Italy, when you see a giant pizza crust in the shape of a weird face, it is a Venetian tradition that you imitate the face as best you can.

And also in Italy, it is tradition for Americans to be horrified at the "American" products that are for sale in the frozen food section at the local grocery store. This was an "American Style" pizza, and had every topping imaginable - even corn. Grotesque. Dear America: We need to work on our image. "Big Americans" is not the culinary legacy I want to leave behind.

Doug, sad and confused at the state of American pizza in Venice, Italy. 

As I said we've been reading and relaxing a bit more on this trip. Greg has the best "I'm relaxing and reading something quite interesting!" face.

Doug gets a solid silver finish.

I've been carrying around all these damn scarves the whole trip, and the day that it finally cools down enough to warrant one, I didn't bring it! Luckily Tanya had the same idea, and it just so happened that her scarf matched the outfit I was already wearing PERFECTLY. It seemed only right that she let me borrow this fabulous scarf and run upstairs to get her own sweater. I thanked her by asking her to take a picture of me wearing her scarf on the street outside of our house.

Tanya's scarf debuts on my shoulders in Italy. 

Will Tanya get this scarf back? TBD. 

We've been spending a lot of time on our patio. It's tiny, so we crowd around and rotate/take turns.

Greg - Doug - Tanya

Doug and I went out for another date tonight. We wandered around a different area of Venice and ended up grabbing a quick bite at a sidewalk cafe. The food was decent - touristy area so I'm starting to taper my expectations a little (our "authentic Italian" meals have yet to outweight our "tourist Italian" meals.

Spaghetti with hot pepper, butter and garlic. Very spicy and tasty. 

Cacciatore pizza. Good! 

We then went back to St. Mark's square for the dueling cafe orchestras. I'm not going to lie. I LOVED this. We stayed awhile and stood and watched the bands with some gelato (of course). They played the entire Sound of Music soundtrack, as well as a few other Italian songs and some well-known classical music. If we were in Venice longer I'd go here every night and grab some food and wine and relax with my favorite band (there are usually about three "dueling" it out in the courtyard).

We had a beautiful warm walk home, got completly and horrible lost, made it home, and had a glass of wine and patio time with the rest of the gang :)

The next day (our third in Venice), we had a leisurely and lazy morning. I had to harass people to get out of the house by about 11:30AM :)

On our way out Brycen forgot his sunglasses. We yelled at Logan to throw them down to us so we didn't have to run up two flights of stairs again. Just when we were starting to wonder what was taking so long...

Special delivery. 
 Me, Kendra, Brycen, and Tanya did a little bit of shopping for Murano glass, and grabbed some pizza at a takeaway cafe. This restaurant was pretty cool - they make giant sheet pans of pizza (you can see the guys in the back kneading the dough and prepping huge pizzas) and they sell it for one and a half Euro's per 100 grams. So you just sort of show how much you want and they weight it.

Vegetable, meat and artichoke, and spicy salame.
 A small bottle of prosecco was only .50 Euro more than a soda. The beverage choice was clear to me.

Logan has really taken to eating in and having a home-cooked meal on our last night in an Italian city, so of course we obligied for our last night in Venice - and our last night with this group! Tomorrow, Tanya, Doug, and I are headed off to stay in the Cinqueterre, and the Wershing clan is headed to Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany. I had an awesome time with the Wershings and am sad to see them leave our Italian vacation, but I loved loved loved our trip to Paris and Germany, and I've already tried to tell them a million things to eat and see, so I'll be excited to reconnect with everyone in the States and have a slideshow (after Logan deletes the three thousand picures he took of pigeons - ha ha). 

Our last night together in Italy! Happy but sad. 

The Wershings decided to take a Gondola ride this evening. But first, Logan polished off the last of the raviolis.

The balcony is perfect for eating the rest of the dinner in the cooking pot with the serving spoon. I think this is how Venetian's did it traditionally. 

Post-Gondola ride, we went out for some crepes and gelato.

This crepe machine was awesome. 

Doug liked his crepe. 

The next morning, we packed up and shipped out. It was sad to leave Venice, but I'm excited for our next adventure in Manarola of the Cinqueterre!


  1. The scarf is ok .... but I love the gladiator sandals!

    1. Thank you Anonymous. Please identify yourself so I know who to attribute this thank-you to.

  2. And also, Anonymous, so I know who called my scarf just OK. For those waiting with bated breath to find out, I did snag my scarf back from Becky but I'm keeping an eye on it.

    1. Seriously, who is this Anonymous and what's with their lame ass scarf rating? That scarf was way beyond OK. It was fucking awesome.

  3. I agree. LOVED the scarf. Tanya, I would definitely keep an eye on it. BTW, I would be in heaven in that fish market and the dried fruit looked amazing. I don't usually like dried fruit, but the ones in your pic do look better than the leathery stuff we usually have.

    1. Suzanne you so would have loved the fish market. It was incredible - as was that dried fruit! Much better than the leathery, over sweetened stuff we are used to.