Getting to know Venice

Trip Start Jun 02, 2013
Trip End Jun 29, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Sunday, June 23, 2013

After the busyness of yesterday's transition from Tuscany to Venice, and coupled with the fact that we walked in circles last night for a couple of hours, we've allowed ourselves the luxury of sleeping in this morning.  As a result, our plan for today is NO PLAN.  This lazy day approach tends to suit our travel style well since it gives us a chance to catch our collective breath, take inventory of what's around us, and then weave our new findings into the handful of activities that we have already pre-planned for the week.  But, even without a plan we still need some breakfast, so Ron sets out to find a few goodies, while the girls chill.

Venice is broken up into 6 historic districts called <i>sestieri</i> and our neighborhood is in the northernmost <i>Sestiere Cannaregio</i>.  Many consider it to be the most authentic district of Venice.  It is mainly residential in nature and is filled with peaceful piazzas (<i>campo</i>), markets, cafes, and shops.  Finding breakfast is as easy as walking out to <i>La Strada Nova, </i>the main promenade, and picking the shop with the best looking pastries.  Today, it's<i> Pasticceria Martoni,</i> where the to-go orders seem like they're gift wrapped! 

After a light breakfast and a couple of hours of relaxation, we strike out into the neighborhood for a look around.  In the process, we find a small sandwich shop and grab a quick bite of lunch.  The girls are anxious to explore some of the surrounding shops, so they take off in one direction while Ron meander i toward the train station to look into some ticketing considerations for later in the week, and to do a little more sightseeing along the way.  The train station is a 20 minute walk from the apartment, and  5 different canals are crossed en route, the largest of which is <i>Canal Canneregio</i>.  Before the construction of the railroad causeway and train station in the mid 19th century, this canal was the main point of entry from the mainland.  The area bordering the canal evolved into the primary "industrial" section of the city, focusing on metal works.  And it was here that the term "ghetto"  (loosely translated as foundry) originated.  Here also is where the historic Jewish ghetto of Venice is located.

Once logistics are arranged for Tuesday's day trip to Milan, Ron starts back to the apartment to meet up with Diahann and Kaylan.  Along the way is the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, with its unique marble façade.  Built in the late 1600s at the request of the Barefoot Carmelites (<i>Scalzi</i>), this baroque gem is well worth visiting.  Ron can't seem to pass a church without stepping in!  He eventually makes it back to the apartment and, with Diahann and Kaylan back as well, a short nap is in order to continue the recovery process from yesterday's activity and today's wanderings.

With evening now upon us and hunger setting in, our unanimous choice for dinner is a return trip  to Trattoria Casa Mia to give a few of their pasta dishes a try.  We're more than glad we decided to come back.  Oh, and thanks again to Diahann for finding this cozy little spot.  All three of our pastas are luscious, but Kaylan's farfalle and shrimp dish is the clear winner among the lot.  Still within a 2 or 3 minute walk of our apartment, we top off the evening with a visit to Gelateria Grom.   This is actually a chain of gelato shops located in many of Italy's major cities.  But even so, their gelato is superb.  Once our collective sweet tooth is satisfied, we stroll down to the Santa Sofia traghetto  (gondola ferry) crossing, near the Ca D'Oro vaporetto stop, where we're greeted again by the full moon over the Grand Canal and another postcard vision of Venice.  Minute by minute this captivating city becomes more endearing.
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Shannan on

I love the history lessons along the way.

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