Neither one of us slept well. In fact, I wanted Ken to get up and go with me around 5am to Piazza San Marco but when he said no I lost my zeal and just stayed lazily in bed.
Caffee del Doge this morning: They are training a new young woman to make the coffee and it really wasn’t as good as usual. I didn’t even realize it until we were walking out and Ken said how was your coffee today? Interesting…
First stop was the Tim store; we figure out what to do for when our data plans expire (a month from when we bought them) especially because we will have a car and want to use the maps when we leave Venice. So I added 10euros credit to my account and my data plan can automatically renew for another month. We have to get more info on this because we really only need it until the 30th and all bets are off with the Italian SIM card. Complicated stuff.
Next stop–shopping at Rialto market. We, as in years past, have gravitated to the Santin stand. It’s catty corner from the Casa Parmigiano, not in the bigger market area. They have pretty stuff and tolerate my Italian with a smile. We got a bunch of salad stuff and then went to Casa del Parmigiano to try their salami and prosciutto cotto. Consensus is we both prefer Aliani but the best stuff is at Panagreulica. I felt a little disloyal to Aliani and I made Ken hide the bags way down in our purple vegetable sack when we walked by–just in case.
We came back and put everything away and set out for the quick walk to Alle Testiere to meet Slow Travel friends Bill (Bettini) and Martin for lunch. Testiere is a tough reservation and I was glad that Bill took care of it. Lunch was really excellent! as was the company. I had a big bowl of assorted mollusks–a few kinds of clams, razor clams, scallops and mussels–all steamed in the shells with a bit of olive oil and some shards of fresh ginger. Of course, I ended up with a big bowl of shells but the tastes were so clear and fresh. If I hadn’t ordered another course I would have eaten all the broth with the bread but I didn’t. Ken started with spaghetti with clams. Next I had gnocchetti with porcini and shrimp–I loved this dish too. The sweetness of the shrimp and the earthiness of the porcini with the ever so slightly salty, tiny gnocchi and a simple sauce–just a perfect balance. Ken had a plate of grilled scampi–big shrimp with claws cut in half the long way and grilled to perfection. (Bill and Martin loved their dishes too. Their mixed grilled platter looked fabulous!) I had a couple of glasses of a bright Sicilian house white which worked perfectly with the food.
The desserts were sensational too. Perfect peach tart, creme caramel with coffee, and Ken had to try the chocolate pudding which was like a little cool souffle with wonderful dark chocolate flavor. We sat and sat until it became obvious that they wanted to close. We walked through Campo Santa Maria Formosa and then tow Giovanni e Paolo. We showed them BJ’s (once ours) apartment. Took this picture at the bridge right near Osteria d’ Alberto:
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When we stoped at the Miracoli church I realized that I had only one chorus pass! Ken waited outside and we just made it a short visit. I talked to the woman and she call San Sebastiano to see if maybe we had left one pass there but no. We stood outside talking some more and admiring the beautiful marble exterior:
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We walked with Bill and Martin to the bottom of the Rialto and sent them on their merry way. I loved having a glimpse of Venice through their fresh, first-timer eyes. Ken and I stopped into Mille Vini for a couple more bottles and some conversation.
We were slugs the rest of the afternoon until around 7:30 Ken had the idea to take some wine out to Campo San Polo and watch the show for a while.
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Great idea! The dogs and kids just hit the spot and the wine helped too. Back upstairs we ate our salami, ham and I have a new discovery–I bought ricotta di buffalo and just spread it on the bread with some arugula on top. Oh My! Delish!
By the way, the weather is perfect! Highs are in the mid 70’s and there’s a breeze. Can’t ask for better. Nan says this is “normal” for this time of yer.

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