There is no way around it, getting to Venice is a pain. It involved a taxi, two trains, a Valporetto (water bus), six sets of stairs and lots of walking over narrow cobblestone streets. Thank goodness we are traveling light or we would have never made it. However, we did make it to our little apartment off of Piazza San Marco.
We started off by grabbing a late lunch in the famous Caffe Florian. This cafe opened it's doors for the first time in 1720! Many famous people having frequented this cafe, including Goethe, Cassanova, Lord Byron, Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens. Whenever people dare to eat in one of the Cafes in Piazza San Marco, they are guaranteed fabulous music since all the cafes have bands consisting of a piano, two violins, an accordion, a bass, and a clarinet. No matter where you wonder in the plaza beautiful, lively music accompanies you. It is delightful.
The highlights of our week in Venice include a fabulous exhibit of work by Salvador Dali, the requisite gondola ride, shopping for masks to wear at our upcoming Masked Ball and spending every evening enjoying drinks in the piazza listening to music.
The food in Venice was very different than food we encountered in other parts of Italy. Almost everything has either cuttlefish, sardines or calf's liver in it. While we went out of our way to eat some daring dishes, we discovered that we were inept at the graceful art of removing shellfish from their shells and cleaning fish that are served whole (including all scales and bones). We also found that we were not huge fans of the gelatto, pastries nor bread in Venice. Fortunately, we bought Baci's by the boxful! Another highlight for me? Prosecco!
The worst thing about Venice? The famous Bridge of Sighs was under construction. It was hidden by scaffolding and covered in advertisements. There is a legend that if you ride under the Bridge of Sighs with your romantic love and kiss as your gondola passes under it, then your love will last forever. I guess the bridge, just like romance, requires maintenance. Want to see a sweet movie about it? I recommend A Little Romance, with Laurence Olivier.