I get up early–around 7:00. It’s practically silent but totally lit by the morning sun. Slowly you hear one or two people walking by, boats coming in and unloading supplies, the occasional rolling suitcase. By 8:00 the soundtrack of Venice is on low. The church bells ring at 8 and the carts begin bumping on the little bridge. Some of the “cart guys” sing or whistle but usually not until a little later. When a big boat turns our corner they honk the horn–some of them have music on board. It’s like pulling up beside a car with the windows open and hearing their music but this is generally a lot mellower but often not Italian and not blasting bass. By evening there’s a lot more singing, in groups and the occasional “OYE” shout from the gondoliers, although we are off the beaten gondola path. And there are playful kid sounds too. It’s a Top 10 Soundtrack.
We wanted to go for a good long walk– we passed through San Polo for our first stop Cafe del Doge near the Rialto bridge. We love the coffee there. Fortified, we strolled through the Rialto market, bought some pretty little apricots and some blueberries for breakfast. Then over the bridge towards Castello and Cannaregio. No chance of getting lost around here. We remember it all so well from our month here 2 years ago. We wander by “Pat’s Campo” known to the rest of the world as Santa Maria Formosa, and over to the SS Giovanni e Paolo Church which is covered with scaffolding. The hospital facade is still beautiful and intriguing. We walked over the bridge past our home from last time, wanting to visit the family who had the bar but it had a new name and new faces. From there we went down Strada Nova and decided to have lunch at La Cantina. We just don’t have good luck there. The service was not very friendly and although I loved my mixed seafood platter, it was way too much –food and $$ for me. Ken had a salumi and cheese plate which was a much better deal but he was not thrilled. I thought the cheeses were fantastic though.
We continued down Strada Nova all the way to the Guglie bridge and finally to the train station, over the “new bridge” and back home. Ken has the pedometer app on his iPhone and it was less than 3 miles but enough to earn us a nice afternoon rest.
Guess whose laundry this is hanging out the window?
For dinner we decided to go for a walk into Dorsoduro; we found Campo Santa Marguerita easily and checked out the Il Doge gelato place for later. We walked to the Zattere from there to enjoy the view of Giudecca Island.
And over to the Squero where they still make gondolas the old fashioned way.
We saw the crowd at Cantina Schiavi and decided to join the fun. I had a spritz–I really get it now–it’s totally refreshing like a beer with its slightly bitter taste. Ken had red wine and we got a small plate of cicchetti and ate outside on the wall on the water:
We finished by walking back to Il Doge gelato and indulging.