Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ahh...the Food (and the Wine), pt. 7

We left the Italian Riviera for the last leg of our journey and headed for Venice.
It was our longest drive of the trip, but we managed to make a couple of stops in some major food capitols along the way - Parma and Modena.
We were in Modena (home of balsamic vinegar and tortellini) at lunch time. It was a cute little town, but we were in a hurry so we grabbed some lunch at this little place right near the piazza.

I ordered fresh tortellini "the Modena way". It was one of the best meals of the trip.
We left Modena and continued to Venice. It was a very stressful last drive as our GPS decided to go wacko just a few miles away from our exit off the highway. Driving in Italy isn't easy, even with GPS, so without it we were lost. We got off and on a couple different exits and proceeded to get more and more lost until the GPS decided to work again. We made it to the car drop off point. There are no cars in Venice. If you drive there, you have to park the car on the mainland and then walk or take a waterbus or taxi onto the islands. We lugged our bags to a water taxi and headed for the hotel. Once we checked in we had a few hours to wander before dark.

Venice is one of my most favorite cities in the world (that I've been to). It is so unique and beautiful. Unfortunately we were there over Easter and most Europeans have that week off. I think they were ALL in Venice. It was terribly crowded, more crowded than the last time I was there during the summer. We fought the crowds a bit at the more touristy places and then explored some other areas off the beaten path.

The Gondolas are everywhere. I think they add to the ambiance of Venice.

We ordered a bottle of Lambrusco (sparkling red wine) at dinner our first night,

And ordered pasta arrabiata

The next morning we went to the Peggy Gugenheim museum. After she died her home was turned into the museum. She had an amazing collection of modern art including this very interesting piece. Plus, her home sits right on the Grand Canal. Unfortunately the back patio was being remodeled so we weren't able to go on it this time.

Another beautiful canal.

The Rialto Bridge

We took a sightseeing break and stopped at Harry's Bar where the peach Bellini was invented. It was good, but it was 15E a glass, about $40 for two.

A view of the Grand Canal

That night it was lasagna for dinner.
The next day we took a waterbus to the lagoon and visited the islands of Burano and Murano.

Burano is my favorite place on Earth. It is a tiny little village with these amazing, colorful houses. It is such a bright, cheery, and relaxing place. Someday I want to spend a few days here just resting, relaxing, and painting. It's so peaceful.

More colorful homes.
Pizza for lunch

We then waterbused to Murano, where Murano glass is made. I had been to a glass factory here on my last trip, but had not seen the town itself. It was also very cute.

Heading back to Venice.

I love the colorful poles.

We spent our last night at Fondementa delle Zattere which is an area of Venice away from the tourists. It is quiet area, lined with terraces that sit over the water. The view is beautiful. Here we enjoyed some refreshing beverages.


  1. I'll bet you're glad you weren't in the middle of the biggest fight of your life as you traversed this amazing place.

    I'm glad you were able to get off of the beaten path!

    And the peach bellini? $20.00 each?

  2. So, when's the dinner party? I just don't want you to forget all of t he things you learned while you were in Italy. I'm a good friend like that!

  3. I love Venice, and now I want to go back!

    Next time I'm in CA, if we meet up, it better be at your place...no crappy restaurant food! Just make sure you cover your dining room chairs with plastic if Jason comes over. :))

    he's already commented, so I can say that!

  4. Oh yum yum yum I forgot all about bellinis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So, which day was it that you did not eat eitehr pizza, pasta or both?

  5. OMG!!!!!!! The pizza, the pasta, the wine, the gondolas. Calgon, take me away. To there. Looks FABulous.

    I need PASTA pronto.