Well it's been an interesting couple of days. Firstly, it feels like we've been here for weeks - not days. We feel so at home in Venice. There's something magical about it.
Even though it's my fourth trip here, we decided on the first full day to take vaporetto No.1 down the Grand Canal. Yep, for the fourth time! You know what?! It never loses it's charm. Everyone who arrives in Venice should do it. It's a wonderful experience. There's a photo opportunity everywhere you look. Whether it's boats, people, palazzo, bridges, side canals. It's a masterpiece.
However I did laugh when I realised the closer we got to St Mark's Square, the more gondolas we saw! It was very touristy and a bit over the top for my liking but it's Venice! What's Venice without gondolas?
Of course, we did have a handsome Italian gondolier pose for us. I felt like such a tourist taking his picture but I just couldn't help myself!
But we don't want to be tourists! That's not the plan! We're supposed to be locals for the month (locals, mind you, who know a handful of Italian words and have no knack for learning languages!) Oh well, hopefully sometime during the next four weeks we will pick up more than knowing menu items, everyday pleasantries, and "il conto, per favore" when we need the bill!
Anyway, back to the Grand Canal.... as we have no itinerary and have seen all the major tourist sites (multiple times!) we decided to stay on the boat, which went out to Lido. Of course Lido pretty much shuts down outside of summer so we just strolled around for a while then headed back into Venice. We got off at the Accademia stop and found somewhere for a late lunch. We ended up at Osteria al Vecio Fornier where we had cichetti. The E3.00 coperto (cover charge) EACH was a bit much. We can't remember cover charges being a big thing on prior trips. Maybe because they charged less, I don't know. We normally don't eat the bread so we aren't hit with the bread charge, but we have been hit twice with this "coperto" so need to be a bit more on the ball! The food was fine but I wouldn't rave about it.
After lunch, and to my surprise, we realised my favourite scarf shop was only a short stroll away. (Everyone who knows me, knows how I love my scarves and shawls!) Needless to say I shopped myself stupid picking up several scarves - one simple and every-day, one for work, and one that's a bit shiny shiny for evenings out. We also bought some glass jewellery for nieces and god daughters - easy presents for Christmas, and not a strain in the luggage. And of course, I picked a few earrings for myself. Afterall I have a terrible tendency to lose them (must have something to do with those scarves I'm sure!) and for E5.00 they were pretty without being expensive.
We then went back across Accademia and booked tickets for a Vivaldi concert on Friday night at the Chiesa di San Vidal performed by Interpreti Veneziani. Tickets were only E25.00 each which I thought was a bargain. I'm very much looking forward to it. The program is:
Concerto for violin, strings and harpsichord op. 7 n. 8
Concerto for bassoon, strings and harpsichord RV. 484
Concerto for violin, strings and harpsichord op. 9 n. 8 "La Cetra"
I can't wait! An evening on the town. Venice, Vivaldi, a wonderful old church and my shiny shiny new scarf.