Sunday, December 16, 2012

November 2012 sketches ~ Frari and Basilica San Marco

Venice November 2012 ~ mini report

Geeze....where to begin!


Thanx to Sandy.... Barbara and I had hair raising days before we left the NY area..
Our flight to Venice, the only non-stop from NY, was cancelled.  
Thanks to Barbara’s fast thinking and her access to one of the only working computers in the tri-state area.....we were rebooked on a flight to Venice thru Amsterdam.  Our flight out of JFK was one of the first one’s out after the airport reopened...there were huge lines waiting  to rebook. 

   8 hours in Schiphol airport was a small price to pay to make it to Venice! 
 By the way, Schiphol airport is a could spend days there and not have every massage, pedicure, shower, museum visit.....available.
We arrived in Venice, somewhat fried, around 4pm.....perfect timing....because we were late we missed a really  bad, double-header,  acqua alta.  If we had arrived on time we would have had to sit at Marco Polo airport waiting for the water to recede.
When we reached our apartment we found furniture on top of the beds and rugs rolled up...etc.   Lelia helped us rearrange things!   We had a nosh at Ciak’s then unpacked and crashed.   (Corte Tiepolo
This year I spent hours photographing .... and sketching... mostly in churches.  I love to draw but I don’t like to make it a public I like to find quiet corners..and a place to sit.  Churches just seem to be the best place to find both...with the bonus of cover from the rain.

Our trip was full of fantastic memories.....visiting old favorites and adding new favorites to our lists.      

OLD LOVES:                                                                                                                     

 BASILICA SAN MARCO....thanx to Mary for swooning over the basilica’s many charms...the three of us decided to revisit.  We spent an hour sitting quietly, drawing and soaking in mosaic floors.... hanging candelabras.... glint of gold.....the gorgeous melancholy. I love the deep saturation of incense....the centuries of adoration.  
CAMPANILE di SAN MARCO....this is still my favorite campanile view.  A very close second is the view from the campanile on Torcello....third in line....San Giorgio Maggiore.    I know, I know, everyone else loves the view from San Giorgio Maggiore...what can I say?  I love being surrounded by the terra cotta rooftops and looking down on     Basilica San Marco.  I feel as if I’m in the arms of a loved one......                                          
 MUSEO FORTUNY....I just can’t explain the feeling I have when I’m in this building.  Even if the current exhibit isn’t my cuppa, I still feel as if I’m on hallowed ground. It’s a religious experience for me.  I was talking to Maria Antonieta, one of the museum staff, and she has the same feeling....a strong connection to the lives that have been lived in this palazzo.  I showed her my photos/drawings....images based on photos that I had taken from the windows of Fortuny.  It was fun sharing them with her.                                       

VAPORETTO #2....When I can snag a seat at the front...riding in the wind with my ears flapping.  It was especially nice this year sharing the ride with Mary and Barbara...a brilliant day.   We had just left the Basilica and then caught the 2 at San Zaccaria...what a sensory overload.  My kinda day!   
                                                                                                                                                                                                     HOT CHOCOLATE AT doesn’t take me long to get around to food and drink.  We splurged on two different occasions.....I justified the second indulgence because it was my birthday.  What a way to blow some calories.   

NEW DISCOVERIES:                                                                                                              GELATO....Crazy that this is a new discovery?  Years ago I went to Nicos and sorry to say I wasn’t impressed.  I had heard that Nico’s was THE best gelato in Venice.  So I figured that if that was the best and I thought is was meh....then why go any calories...right?  Well I fell off the wagon and into three gelato shops.            Wow...what have I been missing?.....sublime thrills....chocolate dreams.....creamy delights.          VENCHI.....Il DOGE.....GROM.    In january I’ll round it out with a shot at SUSO....who knows....NICOS may be worth a second chance.



MURO_FRARI ~  San Polo 2604 B/C  - 39 041 5245310                                               Muro~Frari is our neighborhood go-to place....we even receive a sconto.   This is the pizza I craved throughout the favorite is Mastea.....buffalo mozzarella, black olives, ham, tomatoes.  Makes me hungry just typing about it.                                                                                                                                   ACQUA PAZZA~  San Marco 3808/3810 - 041 277 0688                            the staff was a little stiff our first visit a few years ago...but boy oh boy are they happy to see us now.     They use to push for more they warn us that we are ordering too much.  They wouldn’t even let us order dessert before we devoured the complimentary cookies and after dinner liquors....lemoncello.. raspberrycello...chestnutcello. ~ and my OMG favorite...meloncello made from cantaloupe. In fact, it is one of my favorite Venice food memories.        Great   Oh, and the complimentary bruschetta to start.   We usually only order one course...the rest is on the house.  Nice wine list too....                                             
LA ZUCCA  - Santa Croce 1762 - 041 5241570                                                              La Zucca is back on her seemed a little off last year.  This year we had a few fabulous meals.  The spinach with bechamel sauce was outstanding....tacchino with curry and cous cous....great. The veggies are really fantastic!   Glad that she’s showing so well again!   I really like La Zucca’s house wine...both the red and white would be nice at twice the price.

                                                                                                                                                    LA PRONTA - Calle de Pistor (just steps from Tonolo’s)                                                      La Pronta is a real gem.  Great for both breakfast and lunch.  The morning pastries are warm and tender...full of delicious fillings.  Very good coffee.   I’ve always enjoyed lunch at La Pronta.....they offer a variety of meal-sized salads...sandwiches and pastas. This year they had a pasta special....ricotta ravioli with pumpkin sauce.  Delicate and beautifully spiced.   The cheese plate is always great with a glass of Moscato.  Great wines by the glass...served in wonderful stemware.

FRARYS - San Polo 2559 - Fondamenta dei Frari - 041720050                                     Frary’s is  a great choice when you need a break from Italian fare.  Middle Eastern fare...the mixed appetizer plate is a great lunch or starter for dinner.  We are in love with their  tzatziki....we ordered some to go.  I could swim in this.  Be warned....garlic alert...don’t eat before a first date.                                                                                            
ALLE TESTIERE - Castello 5801 - 39 041 522 7220                                                        This is my favorite venetian-food splurge.  Everything is done with a delicate touch.  The three of us went wild and had the white truffles with  fettucini....ethereal!!  

PANE VINO ~ RIALTO  - San Polo 1544 - Calle dei Botteri - 38 041 08446                            This was my first time to this location.  My Venetian friends Elisabetta and Barbara decided that we needed to try it out.  We ordered a selection of cheeses and cold meats to start...what a start.  Fantastico....Yes....I’ll be returning.

It was great fun meeting up with all the SlowTravel Venetian lovers......Christy, Paul, Daniela, MaryK, Barbara, Lou Anne and her husband, BIL and SIL.   We met at Caffe del Doge.  Cappucino perfection....worth the trip to the Rialto.          I’m going to have to connect my Skype....just to take Italian lessons with Daniela!! 

(**Check out Daniela's site ~ Joyfulit.   I've posted it on the right under favorite sites.)

Barbara was a very brave soul.....she took rowing lessons from our ‘Queen of the Oars’ Nan!!!    She had the most fabulous time....she was so took three days to get her peeled from the ceiling.  She’s so jazzed up she’s planning on multiple lessons the next time she’s in Venezia!!  

(**Check out the Row Venice's also posted under my 'Favorite Sites' on the right.)

I'll write more as things come to mind....and you know how my mind!

** Sorry about not posting direct links....I wrote this report in another program....sigh) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

~ From Murano....view to Venice ~

~ Cannaregio Doorbells ~

I was wandering around Cannaregio and snapped this image.
I liked the texture....the scars of technology.
On closer can a visitor decide which bell to ring????
Just two of them have names on them.  
Extra points for the marble.....

(click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

~Sketching November 2012~

 I had so much fun sketching this year....mostly in San Marco Basilica and at 
the Frari.....