Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day one in Venice. I have not fallen into a canal yet. It's all good.

I have been walking around Venice since 9:00 this morning. At 5:00 p.m. I came back to my room to take a break. I am trying to stay up until at least 10:00 so I will not have jet lag. Earlier today I thought I was going to fall asleep standing up.

It's so quiet in my room. Last week my new neighbor back in L.A. woke me up at 4:00 a.m. He was jumping around or something. My bedroom windows were actually shaking. WTF?! I think he was by himself, not sure what he was doing.

At 6:00 a.m. various church bells started ringing. It was nice and sunny but very cold.

I can't even imagine what the crowds must be like during high season. I think they are pretty awful now. Tons of big tour groups walking around following someone with a stick/umbrella, flag etc. Speaking of tours I signed up for the Secret Itineraries tour for the Doge Palace. The group size is kept small. There were seven of us. Our quide was great. We went to rooms that are off limits to the public, including the jail cell that held Casanova until he escaped. I really enjoyed the tour. Very informative regarding Venetian history.

Originally I had planned to go to La Zucca for dinner. What was I smoking? There was no way I would have found this place, in the Santa Croce part of Venice, at night. It took me almost an hour to find it during the day. That part of Venice has a completey different vibe than the area around San Marco. Very quiet with locals going about their daily business. I loved walking around the side streets, eventhough I had no idea where the heck I was. At La Zucca I had tagliatelle with a sausage ragu that was amazing. My glass of house wine cost only 1.50! Crazy. I stopped by a bakery, Majer, for a cookie. I might have to walk back there.

I returned to San Marco and went into the Basilica which is just beautiful...lot's of mosaics.

Did some window shopping, then went to Harry's Bar for a Bellini. I was warned. I heard it is very expensive. One American tourist paid 26 Euros for a piece of apple pie. He said it was the best pie he has ever had. That may be but I still think that is bananas. The prices are on the menu, there is no reason to pay that much for pie at Harry's. It is worth the price of a Bellini however. They are around the price you would pay in the States and Harry's invented the drink. I love Bellini, how could I come to Venice and not have one? It's like when I went to Naples, I had to have some pizza. You can tell they make the Bellini fresh and not from a mix. It was very good.

Here are a few pics:

The Grand Canal taken from the Rialto Bridge. Photos do not do it justice.

Some gondole hanging out.

I do not get the appeal of this all!! There was one man standing with his young son and they had pigeons all over them, including on their heads. Why? Also these pigeons must have gangs or something. I saw three separate pigeons fights. What the heck were they fighting about?

A traffic jam in Venice.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, I love Venice and so want to take my son there. We read a wonderful book together a few years ago called The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It's a "children's" book, but the appeal goes far beyond that. It's about a gang of kids living in an abandoned movie theater in Venice.

Some day...

Sounds like you're having a lovely time so far!

gibber said...

It's good that you haven't fallen in yet!! :)

I'm so happy you got a digital camera. These pix are the best!

J.Doe said...

Pretty pics!!
And I don't get the birds thing either.

Texas Espresso said...

yeah i dont get the pigeon thing either. I really like staying around the less touristy areas. You might try a restaurant - Paradise Lost (in Italian of course) it is off the beaten path and has delicious eggplant parmigiana. Hope you get a chance to go to murano and the Guggenheim.

Have fun!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen - I will have to check out that book. Maybe my nephews will like it.

gibber - I'm glad I finally broke down and got one.

j.doe - thank you. Some people are crazy. I wish I would let some dirty bird poop on my head.

texas espresso - thanks for the ristorante tip.

Confessions of Cleopantha said...

Oh sweet Venice!! You are finally there. It sounds like you are having such a beautiful time! Have a bellini for me too, they are so yummy:)

Anonymous said...

tracey k/ohio: it sounds so relaxing - you just wandering around taking everything in & enjoying. That's what life's all about. Really nice pictures - the bird picture scared the shit outta me (LOL!) Something about pigeons & how big & bold they are kinda freak me; I couldn't imagine letting them get on my hair! Keep having a great time & keep keeping us posted! :-D Happy Thanksgiving.... do they have that there?

Rose in Cali said...

I AM SO JEALOUS!!! Did you take pics of the residential parts of Venezia? And I got your back on having a Bellini at Harry's. I did that, too, and had those amazing ham & cheese tramezzini appetizers. The waiters are cute, too, so there's always a nice view. :-) How long will you be there?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

confessions - I think that is one request I can fill. ha

tracey k - I am telling you these pigeons are out of control. Bold is an understatement. I was eating a slice of pizza and one pigeon flew really close to me like he was going to take it out of my hand. Freaked me out. They might have another holiday that celebrates the concept of give thanks but our Thanksgiving is an American holiday. One time I forgot and said Happy Thanksgiving to a British friend. She said "why would we celebrate that holiday or 4th of july?' haha.

rose in cali - I'm here only until Sunday morning. I saw those sandwiches on Giada's Italy special. If I get back there I might have to get them. They looked so good.