Thursday, September 3, 2015

Venice: Wandering

Yesterday, we wandered around Venice. We thought we would go see the Basilica of Saint What's Their Names, taking the vaporetto from Madonna dell'Orto to the next stop, then walking the rest of the way. When we saw the 2.5 Euro entry fee sign, we decided it wasn't worth it. Instead, we focused for a few minutes on the young "artists" who were sketching in the piazza in front of the church.

I took a look over the shoulder of the girl at the left. Um, I wasn't sure what she was drawing, but I admired her effort and wondered what program these American youngsters were in that allowed them to sit in the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo and made "sketches" of what they were looking at (which wasn't entirely clear). I was jealous. How wonderful it would have been when I was 20 years old to sit and sketch in Venice. Sigh.

From there, we wandered through more labyrinthine streets, alleys and passage ways to the the Church of San Giovanni Crisostomo. It was in this church where the protagonist of a favorite series of novels by Daniel Silva, Gabriel Allon, was working on restoring a Bellini altar piece when he was called away on business by the Israeli secret service to solve a murder in Vienna. 

Thence across the Rialto Bridge to the sestiere (quarter) San Polo to see the Rialto produce and fish markets. Venice is divided into neighborhoods or sections, as the map below shows. We are staying very close to the water at the top of Cannaregio, above the second letter "a."

We sauntered through the produce and fish markets, strangers to the world that existed amongst locals who come to the market. They know the rules. They know the rhythm. Mark, on the other hand was upbraided for touching a peach to see if it was ripe. Unfortunately, we didn't know the word for ripe, so I think we got the peaches that were "duro," i.e., hard. In other words, the exact opposite of what Mark wanted. (I knew I should have bought an Italian-English dictionary. That phrase book is totally useless in a pinch.)

The Grand Canal

The capital of a column in the fish market

Octopus? Squid? What's the difference?

Small octupuses ... Um, I don't think I'll partake
After sitting down at an outdoor cafe in a small piazza, we continued on our way, wandering in San Polo and, briefly, Santa Croce before heading back to the apartment for a mid-afternoon siesta. Thereafter followed cocktails and another canal-side dinner.

We. Love. Venice.

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