Friday, October 27, 2017

Traveling in Italy - Second Day in Venice

Second Day in Venice

Up and out early.  After breakfast we've decided to explore Venice but it will have to be in the pouring rain today so no painting or even sketching. We look like tourists in our brightly colored purple, green and pink ponchos sold in all the touristy places for rainy days like this one.  We look like the Candy Crush Girls – double-bubble, spearmint and grape!

We're ultimately headed to San Marco Square, but between there and the hotel we stopped in what seems like every shop along the way.  I didn’t travel all this way to shop and as someone who doesn't even like to enter a mall in America (I’m certainly not the norm), I can't believe I'm doing this in Venice, but the bargains are extraordinary.  Couldn't buy clothes, handbags, etc. at these prices in the states.  It’s also fun to interact by bantering and bartering with the vendors.

Our stomachs dictated when it was time for lunch, so we started looking around as we walked down one alley, one 'road' (the roads actually all look like tiny lanes or alleys) after another.  Then we looked quickly down what looked like a very wet, dark alley that wet pavements only made more sinister looking and saw what looked like a restaurant sign.  Otherwise there were only shops out on the main lane or pastry/cappuccino/gelato shops.  There really wasn't anything obvious that would have indicated a restaurant, but our instinct paid off. So we all walked down the alley and looked in a door that didn't divulge much more, but once we stepped inside it was like walking through the looking glass from a gloomy, dark and wet day, into a space where we were surrounded by a light and airy plants; an open airy atmosphere filled with a hive of activity of many white-coated waiters rushing around and fashionable Italians seated at white linen-cloth covered tables.  There were ice-filled containers filled with freshly caught Adriatic fish and freshly mixed greens.  The restaurant was filled with mostly local Italians so we thought this must be a good sign. Like last night's dinner of fresh fish, our dinners here have been extraordinarily delicious.  After Spritzes and Bellinis we were laughing at our fatigue. Our waiter joined in the laughter with a great flair and a show for our benefit.  I ordered a sampling of freshly caught Adriatic fish that was like nothing even in our coastal towns in America.  The Italians really know how to prepare their meals.

Lunch was a grand respite, but back out on the walking tour and by the time we reached San Marco square I was beyond tired and my legs weren't going to hold up much longer.  It still took four hours or so to return to the hotel as every shop deserved a look.  Sleep didn't take long when it was finally time.

Along the way we explored the Venetian Fish Market.  The fish section had closed by the time we arrived, but most of the vendors’ stands were still filled with delicious fresh produce.