We had so many things on the list for Brenda and Linda to see that paring it down was really tough. Final decision was to go to the Frari church first off with a stop at the Rialto market. It was a quick walk in the clear, cool morning. I, like half of Venice, am wearing my puffy coat. The Riato market was in all its glory–lots of mushrooms, especially chiodini, which I failed to photograph, and peppers.
And then there was the fascinating fish market. I saw live moeche there (very small soft shell crabs) and many kinds of clams and shrimp and fish and even live eels. The usual… but not for Linda and Brenda. Afterwards, I showed them the Mascari window with its mounded spice display before we started walking towards the Frari. We did some window shopping along the way and stopped at Vascellari where I had gotten my glasses 2 years ago. Brenda was taken with the turquoise frames and bought a big pair and a reading glasses pair. Renato, salesman extraordinaire, claimed he remembered me, but I’m sure he just recognized the glasses.
The Frari church: Amazing as always. I was determined to discover something new this visit and I really got into the chorus area with the inlaid wood seats.
Brenda was fascinated with the monument to Doge Giovani Pesaro with the huge black marble Moors carrying their heavy load.
We spent a long time at the Frari. Enough to be hungry for lunch. So we stopped at Al Muro and I had a fabulous salad called Romeo, kind of like a Nicoise, which just hit the spot. Everyone else had pasta with varying degrees of success.
We did some more shopping on the way back home. I got a plain black mohair scarf which Ken says looks like I’m wearing a donut, but I like the warmth.
Quick stop for coffee at Cafe del Doge and then we went to the brand new “indoor mall” at the Fondaco del Tedeschi. The very old (1200’s) building had always been the post office or abandoned in my prior visits to Venice. It was recently bought by the Benetton company and remodeled into a beautiful, but controversial, very upscale retail space. But–the rooftop access is free to the public and that’s us. We had to wait on line for about 15 minutes, but it was worth it. The views are 360° of Venice. They have large metal maps so you can identify all of the towers and other structures from above. We all loved it!
Rest time was followed by a really good dinner at Ai Promessi Sposi. Super fresh scallops in the shells, creamy rich mushroom lasagna were the best! Ken had bigoli (fat Venetian spaghetti) with a smokey Amatriciana sauce and it was really excellent. Oh, and there was plenty of wine. It was a fitting farewell dinner for our friends. We’re really sad to see them go.