I feel like there should be some sort of summing up, in the style of Anthony Bourdain. Some pithy summary of the lessons “learned” on our trip.
But, I’m not coming up with much.
It’s great to travel, get outside of your comfort zone. Find out what other people eat and drink and see where they live.
Venice IS a beautiful city and we had more fun than I expected from such a well known tourist destination.
It was very nice to get away from the hordes of Asian, American, and European tourists for a few days and travel to Bologna, much more of an actual working city than Venice.
Our last trip, we over planned and spent too much time travelling. This trip was nice, basically 8 days in Venice and 2 days in Bologna. It was nice not to have to pack up every couple days, rush to see the sights, and pack up again.
Venice, in particular, I think is a city that rewards wandering, even getting lost. There’s always something interesting around the next corner, whether its a museum, a musician, a shop, a restaurant, or the street salesmen stuffing their purses before taking them out to sell in St. Mark’s.
Add Campari to medium size glass with 2 lumps ice. Fill with Prosecco and garnish with Orange Slice. (Sometimes, this also gets an additional splash of soda water.)
Anyway, in Venice the most commonly drunk beverage is the Campari or Aperol Spritz.
We stayed one night on a nearby island called Burano. Much of the fish in Venice comes from boats which operate out of Burano, so there are fishermen. And as our friend correctly intuited, if there are fishermen, there is drinking.
But where, in England or America, tough old fishermen would drink whiskey or beer, in Venice they drink Spritz.
We were out before dinner and stopped at a bar, as we are wont, to get our Spritz quotient for the day. As we sat at a table and attempted to be somewhat inconspicuous, groups of 6 or 8 old men would drift into the bar, quickly drink Spritzes, and then drift out again. Eventually, we started to notice that some of the same men would drift back in. Finally when we got up to head to our dinner reservation, we went out to square to find it filled with loudly talking and gesticulating old fishermen, who were drifting from bar to bar, then heading back out to the square to talk with their friends about whatever retired Italian fishermen talk about.
1 1/2 oz Gran Classico
1 1/2 oz Italian Vermouth
Add Campari (or Gran Classico) and Italian Vermouth to medium size glass with 2 lumps ice. Fill with Soda Water and garnish with orange slice.
Another drink which you can almost always get, though some of the younger barmen may not know it, is the Americano. You may, on occasion, have to remind some of those less experienced waiters that you want the Aperitivo and not the coffee drink.
Multiply this by about 3 per diem.
Beware the weeping angels. The little, creepy, orange headed ones are OK, I think.
Silhouette in Italy.
Yay! We get to take the Eurostar express train!
Bologna, the land of meat. The charcuterie at one of our favorite restaurants of the trip, Vicolo Colombina
Did I mention meat and cheese? At Tamburini, per many recommendations.
One of the first things we noticed in Italy was that people eat on a slightly different schedule than we do in America.
Breakfast, I’m not sure about. We ate the free breakfast in the hotels for the most part and tried to sleep in a tad. I think almost every time, we annoyed the staff by showing up a half an hour before they ended breakfast. Cold Cuts, pastries, cheese, fruit, and espresso for the win. We were especially lucky, by my eyes, to be in Venice during Persimmon season!
Lunch, early to mid afternoon, is usually a couple small open face sandwiches and maybe a small glass of wine at a Snack Bar or Taverna.
Then, dinner. Well, we were kind of lucky with dinner. Most of the restaurants in Venice are very small, and if they are popular, they are booked. However, most do not open until 7PM, no one except tourists eats before 8PM. If you call ahead and don’t mind vacating your table before 9PM, you can eat almost anywhere you want.
Look it’s an actual Berliner!
Arriving at Venice Airport, as the sun sets.
The wake behind our water taxi as we arrive in Venice.
One of the many churches.
This one is for Audrey Saunders. The elusive vermouth mini, right in our honor bar at Ca’Pisani Hotel!
The Grand Canal from the top of the Rialto bridge.