September 14, 2012

Churches, Prosecco, Pizza, OH My!

Yesterday was our first inclement weather day in Venice. By Seattle standards, it was actually quite lovely; a few light sprinkles here and there, and a mild temperature of 65 degrees. Although I missed the sunshine, the respite from the hot humidity was a welcomed reprieve.

Our plan of the day was to wander through the Santa Croce and San Polo districts in the morning and head towards Castello in the afternoon so we could visit the Naval Museum. First stop on our leisure tour today was this magnificent church, Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.


One of the greatest churches in the city, the church is dedicated to the Assumption. Completed in 1338 in Italian Gothic style, it features a brick edifice, and has the second-tallest campanile in the city (San Marco is the tallest).

After a leisurely stroll through Santa Croce, it was time for some lunch.

Here's a picture of Dad and Joan, looking nice and rested today.

Another delicious lunch of pizza and Prosecco. Isn't my little pitcher of Prosecco cute?

After lunch, our next stop was the Castello district to visit the Naval Museum. We're starting to figure out the somewhat confusing Vaporetto routes and successfully navigate ourselves over to Castello, enjoying some beautiful scenery along the way.


The Castello district was packed with people and LOTS of boat traffic. We thought perhaps this might be a rendezvous point for boat tours. This also seems to be the place you would go if you wanted to purchase a counterfeit "designer purse" as we were hounded several times by vendors trying to market their wares.

After declining several times to acquire some "luxury goods" we find the entrance to the Naval Museum. Unfortunately, it closed at 1:30 PM (seriously?) so there's another gaffe made by our travel agent (me) on verifying the open/closing times of our "must see" attractions. Oh well, nobody really seemed TOO upset that we were going to miss seeing this particular attraction.

Docked nearby was this amazing yacht, "Blue Ice." Apparently it was once owned (perhaps currently?) by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli and is currently for sale for a reasonable $24 Million. Quite a bargain!

Although we aren't necessarily partaking in the afternoon "siesta" we have been returning to our apartment in late afternoon for a respite before dinner. This also provides an opportunity for April and I to put in our second work shift of the day, so this works out nicely.

We decided to eat out for dinner instead of cooking at the apartment and found a really lovely restaurant in the same district as our apartment. Now that we had finally figured out the nuances of the Vaporetto schedules, we were on our way downstairs to board the 7:40 PM Vaporetto to our restaurant when Sean spotted the boat and basically had them hold the boat until we could all run aboard. Unfortunately, it was the WRONG boat (how do you say "My Bad in Italian?"). So instead of taking a short ride to the restaurant, we instead took a 30-minute boat cruise across the Guidecca canal towards the island of Lido. Nevertheless, it was a lovely evening for a cruise and Venice at night is truly breathtaking.

We have now schooled Sean on the necessity of verifying the Vaporetto number before climbing aboard. Oh well, no harm, no foul.

Although fellow travelers only gave our restaurant "Ristorante Da Gianni" 3-1/2 stars, we thought it deserved 4 stars. Service was excellent, as was the food and the prices were reasonable. All in all, we were all completely satisfied with our meal. April and Joan both had their baked lasagna and I have to say, it was probably the best lasagna I have ever tasted. It's much different than our version of lasagna and featured more of a meat and bechamel sauce, with extra-thin layers of pasta -- it was almost "fluffy" in texture and quite delicious.

You can view our Venice Day 2 pictures on Shutterfly.


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