The Islands of Venezia

After another tasty breakfast, we decided to spend our last full day in Venice lagooning around the islands. Boarding the vaporetto just in the knick of time, our first destination was Burano. Once you arrive, your eyes are memorized by the pastel houses which line the canals. Each one appears different and is so unique in it’s style, colour, and sheer cuteness!

Burano is renowned for its lace making and every shop along every canal is filled with beautifully hand made lace pieces: table cloths, dresses, art. It’s stunning, incredible soft, and worth a large penny!

Touring the streets during this crazy heat wave made us quite thirsty, so we stopped at the local grocer and picked up a few ingredients for a picnic. We sat by the canal, with a gentle breeze, and admired (and ate) our delicious spread.

This was also my first Lambrusco in Italy. I’m still going questioning why it took so long, but it was fab!

Once lunch was finished, and I was annoyed by all the creatures, seagulls and ants alike, that Daniel persuaded to visit us, we crossed a small footpath which led us to Mazzorbo.

As you walk through these peaceful, art filled gardens, you realize that you’re surrounded by vineyards: Beautiful white grapes hanging vine after vine.

Following the path, we came across a Michelin star restaurant, but were more interested in trying out some of the wine from the vineyard. We walked into the shop, asked if we could do a wine tasting, and the finely dressed man replied, “Yes, you can taste our wine. It’s €25/glass.” When in Rome we thought, even though we aren’t quite there yet. The man informed us that the wine itself is a Venetian Dorona, which is a thick-skinned golden grape that is like a white wine grape, however is treated like a red wine. It’s barreled for 25 years and has a beautiful nectar colouring. The vineyard itself is only one hectare and produces only 4000 bottles of wine each year. Each bottle is numbered and the “wine labels” contain a traditional Venetian gold leaf, applied by hand to each bottle before being baked by local glass makers.

The wine itself tastes quite unique. A mix between port, sherry, and a red wine. It was delicious and a perfect stop on our afternoon adventure. Our server also offered us a complimentary snack of a cod fish flan… insane!

Our final island stop was Murano, the glass blowing island. Not nearly as impressive as Burano in its uniqueness, but the glass itself was stunning. The technique, precision, and work that goes into a piece, well I can’t even imagine what that would take.

The final picture shows some very fine pieces that sell from between €2000-€4000!

Walking around Murano, and seeing the impressive skills that the artists have, we were led to a street with a stunning masterpiece at the end.

Hot and hungry, we hopped back onto the vaporetto and ventured back to Venice. We walked through the beautiful streets to our dinner destination, Birraria La Corte, a local restaurant inside an old brewery. We began with a local IPA for Daniel and an Aperol spritz for myself.

We had a full fledged sharesies meal tonight. We began with the scallops done in a cauliflower and carrot creme, top with the finest prosciutto.

For our next course, we selected the ricotta gnocchi. I can’t even explain how pure and insanely delicious this was.

Finally, we ordered our first pizza: cheese, mushrooms, porchetta. Simple ingredients make something extraordinary.

The meal was a perfect last dinner in Venice. We spent the rest of the evening strolling the beautiful streets and wishing we had more time to get lost in the beauty of Venice!

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Venezia: The City of Bridges

We awoke after a glorious sleep in our B&B with the sun shining brightly through our windows. Once getting up, we ventured into the kitchen and were pleasantly greeted with a delicious breakfast spread: eggs, yogurt, croissant, fruit, juices, and espresso. What a great way to start the day!

Today was a day dedicated to site seeing and exploring all that Venice has to offer. Leaving our place, we immediately hit a wall of heat. Now, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a humid place but let me tell you, +40 is hot! I was sweating in places I didn’t even know were possible, which made the desire to wait in long site seeing lines quite less desirable.

First, we traveled over bridges and canals until we reached St. Mark’s Square. This is a grand square surrounded by beautiful historical buildings and sites: St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, the Campanile Bell Tower, and the Correr Museum.

Although we wanted and attempted to see everything, the long lines and heat didn’t make it all quite possible. We started our tour in the Correr Museum.

The museum also houses a library, set up by the Pisani family, where the bookcases hold rare manuscripts dating back to the early 16th century. They also contain several ducal orders and regulations.

The Museo Archeologico is also held within the Correr Museum. Here you can see armor, statues, and paintings.

One painting of particular interest to me was The Two Venetian Gentlewomen by Vittore Carpaccio, which has various symbolic details: the pearls around their neck indicate respect to their marriage vows, the white kerchief is a sign of purity, the doves modesty, the peahen marital concord, the dogs vigilance. This painting dates back to around the 1490s.

Once we finished at the museum, we walked over to the Doge’s Palace. This palace was build on a half acre with the intent to show off the wealth and power of the Republic. Wealth it sure exudes.

The Bridge of Sighs connects the palace to the prison. It’s said that it name originated from the fact that a condemned man would be walked over the bridge, have one final glance at the glory of Venice, and sigh. The prison was a dark and gloomy place, where you could see old carvings made by prisoners.

Next, we continued our journey up the canals to the Rialto Bridge. Once on the bridge, you’re offered a beautiful view of the Grand Canal.

By this time, we were still hot and beginning to get hungry so we stopped for our first gelato. It was amazing!

We did a bit more wandering, browsing, site seeing, and drinking before sitting along the canal side deciding upon what we would have for dinner.

We ventured into a small square and opted to try out Osteria Alla Fresca. We began with a white and red wine, and an incredible octopus dish with a purple potato sauce. This was by far the best dish I’ve ever had! Ever!

For our next course, Daniel ordered the swordfish ravioli, and I, the seafood spaghetti.

Finally, we finished off with our first trial of dessert in Italy: tiramisu and panna cotta. Both, of course, impressed!

Buonasera!

Ciao Bella

I’ve decided that the older I get, the stronger my love/hate relationship with traveling grows. I hate the travel to get to the destination but I absolutely love the traveling.

Daniel and I were up just after 6am on Monday morning to commence our honeymoon! I couldn’t have been more excited, as it’s been a long time dream to go to Italy! Once we left Calgary, our first leg took us to Montreal. We had a yummy little lunch and wandered around the airport. We boarded our next plane to Halifax where we had a short little layover before hopping on our next plane to Paris. Once we arrived in Paris, we were both so exhausted, delusional, and just needed sleep, which we couldn’t. Luckily our layover wasn’t too long, before boarding our final leg and arriving in Venice.

Our b&b gave us phenomenal directions, which led us onto a water taxi and then walking route to B&B San Marco. The room itself is great, but the view out of our window is stunning!

Once we got settled, showered, and situated, we headed out to do some exploring and find a tasty first Venetian meal.

Venice just has streets after streets of little narrow passageways that lead you to a courtyard, canal, or other passageway. It’s absolutely magical, and I’m actually quite excited to get lost in the maze around us.

We had an amazing meal at a place called Trattoria Da Jonny. To start, I had the mussels and Daniel had the stuffed zucchini floured squid.

Our main course was no other than gnocchi and baby squid polenta.

We each tried a local wine with our meal. Daniel opted for the red, and I, the white.

Our meal was deliciously tantalizing to the taste buds, and the seafood was ridiculously fresh. We strolled back to our b&b stuffed, hot (did I mentioned it’s +40 here?), and prosecco in hand. Cheers to the start of our honeymoon.