Sunday, June 17, 2007
So once we actually GOT to Venice it was spectacular of course! We had a very nice meal the first night at Osteria Enoteca San Marco and the next day a fantastic lunch at Al Theatro next to La Fenice. But the most fun food wise was experiencing some of the cechetti bars! These, usually hole in the wall, bars are where the locals go for a small glass of wine and snack before dinner. The first one we went to was Do Mori- great atmosphere, cechetti and wine. They really take the "snack before dinner" seriously though as it closed right at 9pm! As with tapas we over ordered and were full of our snacks so dinner ended up being a bottle of wine and dessert at Florian in Piazza San Marco. It was a gorgeous night!
There was a really big storm one night and it left the canals spilling over onto the sidewalks. It was just a peak into what winter must be like for the locals with the flooding that happens, wow- I can't imagine dealing with that! some of the boats could not even get under the bridges because the water was so high!
Our last full day we spent over on the Dusadora area- it was very nice to be the only one's in most of the neighborhood.
We went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum which was fantastic and then ended up having to walk all the way back to our hotel as there was a vaporetta strike! On the way back we stopped in a wonderful deli and picked up some nice "happy hour" snacks to enjoy in our room.
Being our last night we headed out and took the obligatory gondola ride and then headed out to another cechetti bar- Botte which I think is quite well know and very popular.
We loved being in Venice, it's such a unique and gorgeous city! All photos of Venice can be seen here
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Such a scene might look something like this:
Unfortunately, the camera fails to capture the following scene, approximately 15 minutes later, when the train pulls into fabled (and previously visited) Florence. To establish context, picture this: Bologna (the origin) is in north-central Italy. The destination, Venice, is north and east of that. Florence, by contrast, is south and west. There are intervening mountains.
When Wendy and I realized that we'd just traveled several hours in the wrong direction after somehow managing to board the wrong train (from the right platform at the right time...) we panicked a bit. The next stop was some unknown destination on the way to Rome, unlikely to be a major train hub. Yikes! We grabbed the luggage and heaved it off the train -- almost leaving a bag behind -- and found ourselves in the main station in Florence on a sticky-hot afternoon, further from Venice than we' d started the day, and without valid tickets.
Long story short [well, too late for that], we did eventually repurchase tickets and make it onto a train later in the day, bound for Venice. We were going to arrive late, miss our scheduled bar walk, and were in general just in a bad mood. At the same time, as I took pains to point out, we were still going to Venice and hadn't actually lost anything other than a little time.
Eventually, we got to our little tiny hotel (perched across the street from the Ferrari store!!) and made it to San Marco plaza for a chance to shed some stress.
We did get to [famous, tiny, overpriced] Harry's Bar that night, to be confronted with pre-made, super-chilled martinis:
But we still had a good time ;)
...and eventually found our way to a fantastic wine bar / restaurant for a meal as they closed the place down around us. All was good in the world, and Venice waited for us the next day.
Once morning we got up early and drove to one of the Parmigiano-Reggiano facilities for a tour. BEST DAY EVER! We went through the entire process and were then rewarded with a huge wedge of cheese to eat! These people are the best! haha!
From here we drove to the Ferrari Museum!
and then back to Modena for lunch and cocktails. If you ever are in Parma do not miss a cheese tour, sounds hokey but is probably one of the highlights of our trip!
More pictures of the beautiful Emilia-Romagna area here!
We had the most amazing lunch at Badia a Coltibuono which is an old monastery on top of a hill outside of Gaiole. They are a working winery and inn. After lunch we continued on to Sienna- wow!! Next time we head to Italy we are staying in Sienna for a few days, it was beautiful!!
We explored the cathedral and the old town then stopped for a much needed gelato in the famous Campo. Sienna is just an amazing town of twisty lanes, brick buildings, hills and alleys!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Dayne and I traveled around northern Italy for a few weeks in Sept. Here is a bit about our trip! Our stops were Cinque Terre, Florence, Emilia-Romanga, Venice and a day in London on the way home.
We started off in Milan, mainly because the flights in were well timed for us. Didn't do much as we were just there for the night before heading to Cinque Terre. Our friend from Paris met us and we went out for some nice aperitivos and snacks before dinner. Had dinner at Cantina della Vetra which was very good- gnocco fritto became one of my favorite things!
The next day we were off to Montorosso in Cinque Terre! These towns are stunning!
This is also the region for pesto which we ate daily!! And of course lots of fresh fish.
We spent the days lounging at the beach, hiking and exploring the towns, having lots of aperitivos and just relaxing while catching up with our friends. It was really a fantastic time.
You can see all the pictures for Cinque Terre here