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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Venice has my heart!

We've been in Venice three days and it is nothing short of magnificent (even if expensive). We've had no shortage of adventures, churches, gelato, and vino. I'll tell the story in pictures if you've the time and bandwidth to look at it.

We arrived by train on Wednesday from Milan and L. was amazed at how close we were to the city. Walk out the trainstation and onto the Vaporetto for the ride down the canal to our stop at the Ponte Accademia.

As we were working out the details and getting tickets for the water bus, we took a break beneath a little shade outside the train station.


After getting off the Vaporetto and mounting the Herculean task of transporting our luggage across the bridge, we proceeded to miss the tiny alley that led to our hotel and it took me nearly 20 minutes of walking up and down every little byway until I found it and could lead my crew to it. When we got to our hotel, we found our room was on the top floor, so this is the view out our window. It is lovely and breezy. Two rooms with a common sitting area.

Most people had to crash for a while, but I went out immediately for an hour's walk to find what I could see. I just had to get to Piazza San Marco and see what Venice was famous for. Well, it is the Basillica. No pictures ever really prepare you for the experience of seeing it.

On Thursday we explored our little feet off. Wherever I go I get primo service because I am in the company of these four beautiful ladies.

As we searched for the ultimate mask-making shop, we stumbled upon this little out-of-the-way Church of Rafael. It is the oldest church in Venice and one of the oldest in the world. Some dates put it back as far as the 400s! It's quietness and beauty were overwhelming and we sat a while, never having found the mask-making workshop.


We managed to get back to the Piazza San Marco and climbed the tower (elevator) to look down on all of Venice. It is an incredible view and you really get a feeling for how Venice is laid out. Each direction is another great view of something new.

We were attempting to find the church of San Pantalone, said to have a remarkable ceiling when we came across this bridge and I suddenly realized this was the scene of Katharine Hepburn's "Summertime" (1955) where the antique shop of her Italian lover is located and where she ultimately takes a fall into the canal. I'd been sort of on the lookout for it all the time, but it was still a surprise to find the store and most of the tiny square is boarded up and vacant. The church, it turned out was only open from 4-6 p.m.

L&P's Italian teacher at Bellevue College recommended that we dine at Trattoria St. Ignatio. After a long morning walking up and down blind alleys, we got there at 1:30. We took one look and decided this was to be the main meal of the day. Not only was the setting glorious, but the food was incredible. We started with a seafood salad featuring sea bass and shrimp. This was accompanied by a bottle of a nice local Soave. For the pasta course, we had spaghetti and crab accompanied by a Vertigo Merlot/Cab blend, also local. Incredible. Dessert included a Chocolate Torte, Tiramisu, and a blended concoction of Lemon Ice, orange vodka, and champagne. Like drinking a dreamsickle/champagne float! The girls decided they were going off on their own to find the mask shop and make their purchases while we finished our wine and coffee and dessert.

Hmmm... Thinking of going back to school!

We found our way back to the Church of San Pantalon and the painted ceiling just took our breath away. I just can't describe it any further.

The girls have returned to another mask shop and we've napped. Tomorrow is another day and we will be catching the train from Venice to Florence where we pick up a car and head for Umbria.
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Beautiful pictures!