Our month in Venice

Old May 17th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Thanks, Yvonne. Yes, the sweater was John's Italian finery. One thing I started doing on this trip was take pictures of the shop keepers, asking them first, of course. What charming people they are!

And don't feel sad--just savor your memories, and plan your next trip. And remember, we were there at the best time possible. It must be awfully crowded now, and getting hot, too.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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marisylvia, it wasn't Enric who was our keymaster in Barcelona... it was an American or English guy - Dave? Scott? I can't remember.

Charlie still has some rentals but not in Barcelona, they are all in Catalonia. I've had no contact with him but am researching a trip there and came across his website.

That's off topic though - looking forward to reading more about your Venice trip!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Rialtogirl, Charlie told me Enric and Erminia own the apartment. They did the cleaning themselves. Sorry to be off topic...

Thanks for the encouragement about the trip report. It's dinnertime here, and I have a busy day tomorrow, but hope to have some time to add to it.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 06:36 PM
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<Week One Continued>/
When we visited Venice in 2005, we visited the Accademia, the Frari, and most of the other sites for art. This time we revisited our favorite, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in her palazzo on the Grand Canal. We bought a membership so we could return, get a discount at the shop, but also to support it. You enter through a garden full of art works, from a huge Calder stabile to neon script on a hedge. Photographing is allowed here, but not inside the building. The splendid terrace overlooking the Grand Canal was closed for maintenance, so the infamous sculpture of the sexually ecstatic horse and rider by Marino greeted us in the garden. I enjoyed watching people's reactions to it, and also some schoolkids clowning around, getting on the stone chair for a group photo:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000365.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000306-1.jpg
The happy rider's appendage used to be removable, but it got stolen so often that Peggy Guggenheim had it attached securely.
This is from the toilet compartment in the women's side of the bathroom:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000370.jpg

The cafe at the museum has a small menu, but the food is good, the people watching over the garden enjoyable, and members get a 10% discount, so we enjoyed lunch there.

We spent most of the day there, revisiting favorite works by Kandinsky, Max Ernst (once Peggy Guggenheim's husband), and PG's scintillating silver headboard by Alexander Calder. There is a photo of her sitting on the bed in front of it.

The next day we met Yvonne T., who some of you know from her postings here and on other travel forums. We had been emailing after I saw from the calendar on Slow Travel that she would be in Venice when we were there. Our first week there would be her last. I could tell from her emails that we'd enjoy meeting her.

Yvonne's apartment was close to ours, by the Fondamenta della Misericordia, so it was easy to meet at one of the local restaurants. We went to Fondamenta, where the waiters greeted her as a friend, and we were impressed with her excellent Italian pronunciation.

She is tall and slim, ebullient and humorous. She'd just returned from a side trip to Bassano del Grappa, and encouraged us to go there, too, as it is very beautiful. Meeting her was a warm welcome to Venice, and we commiserated with her having to leave, with a stop in Rome on her way home to Queensland, Australia.

Here we are with the friendly waiters at Fondamenta:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000258_3.jpg

When in Venice, I enjoy finding lions, so I'll add a few photos of them from time to time.
This is from the garden of a large house; I call it the pussycat of St. Mark's:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000419_2.jpg
This figure lurks nearby:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000421_2.jpg
The winged lion of St. Mark, Venice's patron saint, is the symbol of the city and the once mighty Republic, which used to rule the Mediterranean and beyond. It holds a book. When the book is open, Venice was at peace; closed, at war.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000271_3.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000278_3.jpg

The next day we decided to go to Riviera, a restaurant on the Zattere which had been well reviewed in TripAdvisor. We took the vaporetto to Accademia and enjoyed our walk past the last squero, or gondola boatyard. It was opened in the 17th century, and is on the Rio San Trevaso.

This is a pleasant, rather rare grassy square with a wellhead, next to the squero, with a gondolier and a group of local people:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000403_2.jpg
This could be a sculpture at Peggy Guggenheim's; it was at the rear of the squero:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000407_2.jpg
I love this worn monster:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000402_4.jpg
Here is a more well preserved image:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000400_2.jpg


The Zattere overlooks the channel across from Giudecca Island which is used by cruise ships and other large vessels. It was built in the 16th century as a landing stage for timber, and now is a favorite promenade point for Venetians and tourists, too. There are many restaurants along it with outside tables, some with decks suspended into the channel. There are many worthwhile sights along it, palazzi which are now government buildings or hotels, such as La Calcina, Ruskin's home, and churches.

Riviera has a small outside view dining area, and we were given a table there by a smiling blond waiter, who brought us complementary glasses of prosecco to sip while deciding what to order.
Here is a picture of me, showing the Zattere in the background:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000410_2.jpg
Looking past a French couple, you can see Molina Stucky, formerly a flour mill, now a Hilton hotel, on Giudecca Island:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000411.jpg

We had a lovely leisurely lunch, attended to by our charming waiter, who brought us a complimentary grappa after our dessert and espresso. He then took this picture of us:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000412_2.jpg
So what if I have spinach in my teeth!

We wandered back to our apartment by way of Campo Santa Marghereta, which is near the university and always a lively spot, with families enjoying it as well as students and tourists.

It was a scenic walk, of course.
Many houses in Venice are topped by altanas, or roof decks, sometimes with impressive shrubbery:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000424.jpg
Occasionally you'll see a gondola in a residential area:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000425.jpg
The portico of this building is interesting:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000427.jpg
Here are some children at Campo Santa Margheria, playing a game with string on their ankles:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000429.jpg

Walking to the vaporetto, we heard a canary singing, and saw its cage in front of a closed restaurant:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000438.jpg

Venice is full of surprises.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Marisylvia: I'm loving your photos. We spent a lot of time on the Zattere, a good place for a long walk, followed by a nice glass of wine.
thanks again for the memories.
I don't know the reference you made to me living near "the bridge." Being dumb no doubt. try me again, and continue your stories.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 07:54 PM
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I cannot begin to tell you how much I'm enjoying your trip report!! Like you, my husband & I started in 1999 taking a yearly trip to Europe. We also enjoyed taking our time and savoring as much as possible. We have been to Italy 3 times including Venice twice. Venice is my all time favorite city. I can swell with such feelings just thinking about it and both times I was teary-eyed as our water taxi was departing on our final day. Because of health reasons(mine), we have not been back to Europe since 2005....it was Italy of course. It is a dream of mine to return to Venice and spend at least 2 weeks. I fantasize about getting an apt. and feeling as if we're actually "living" in that wonderful place and really being a part of it. Your photos are marvelous and they along with your report are bringing back so many sweet memories. I really like your creative idea of taking lion shots. We especially enjoyed the Cannaregio district. You are so correct, it is very special getting away from the main tourist areas and walking back into the little streets and alleys of the true local neighborhoods. We missed seeing the "one man band" guy, but we did have some very yummy pizza. I also loved the bells and found evening in Venice to be magical Forgive me for rambling on, but I feel as though I've found a comrade so to speak. I'm so glad I found your report....what a nice way to spend some of this weekend! BTW, we are 59 and 61 so we're part of the older set on this forum.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 07:55 PM
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I really enjoyed this trip report. But I was also very happy to read that John is working for a company enlightened enough to employ a software engineer in his 70s. I hope he continues to work as long as he wants to do so.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:31 PM
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...might I ask what camera you used for all these wonderful shots? I love the story you and the pictures tell!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:56 AM
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Oh, goodie, you're back, with more of your personalised report. Your photos add so much to our enjoyment. Thanks!!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement!

Taconic, I think I'm the dumb one. I thought there's a Taconic bridge somewhere in New York, but I must be wrong.

RSTravelers, thanks for the touching comments; I agree, we must have a lot in common. I hesitated about the lion pictures, so I'm glad you like them. There are more coming up!

WillTravel, John does work for an enlightened company. His colleagues are around half his age. He commutes from Oakland to Santa Clara on the Amtrak Capital Corridor train, which has made our lives much easier. We leave the house at 6 AM, and wait in the car until the train arrives. I call it the Nerd Train; many of the riders have bicycles, some collapsible. Some of the commuters play hackysack, others do calisthenics. It's always fun to see what's happening on the platform.

Pametravels, I bought a Panasonic Lumix TZ5A just before leaving. It is a wonder: very light and compact, with a Leica lens, and it takes movies, too. I hope I can figure out how to post some of them with Photobucket.

Hi, Yvonne. I restrained myself talking about you; it was a treat getting together for lunch. You are such a positive force!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Actually, there <i>is</i> a Taconic Bridge, that goes over the Croton Reservoir in NY. There's also the old Taconic River Parkway (really narrow lanes), so there must be a Taconic River. And the name is used for other places in the general area - it's thought to be an old Mahecan name. But taconictraveler will have to tell us how it got to be a Fodor's handle.

Now we're getting pictures! Almost takes me back to Venice.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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hi marisylvia,

just found this - why did I miss it before?

please keep it coming - spending a month or so in one [non -uk] european city is a dream of mine, which at the moment I have to fulfill through others like you.

regards, ann
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Old May 24th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Thanks Justretired. I have a pack rat brain, all kinds of things are piled among the cobwebs. I'm from Philadelphia originally, and Taconic has the connotations you mentioned. Of course, there is also the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge...

Ann, thanks for the encouragement.

I'm feeling frustrated. I started in on my account and had written several paragraphs, then decided I'd try to get a movie in of people getting seated in a gondola, amid whoops as they tipped the boat. After trying different approaches, I got the spinning circle which meant I had to Force Quit Safari, so it's all gone. I will restrain myself, but it I write *&%#*#!!! you may fill in the blanks. I should probably stick to still photos. It's dinnertime, and I have some lovely fresh fettucine with Meyer lemon and porcini mushroom in it...John has been busy sorting junk in our garage, so he deserves a good dinner. He always does, actually.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Hmmm, I may have to report you for that *&%#*#!!! (at least, the way I translated it).

I've learned (the hard way, of course) that if I'm going to write a lot of stuff, it's best to write it in a text or word processor, in which it's easy to save it periodically. Then, when I'm done, I can copy and paste it into the Fodor's text entry box.

That used to also provide a spelling checker, but the Fodor's text entry box now includes one.

They <i>tipped a gondola!!</i> Whoa, the canals are picturesque, but I wouldn't want to swim in them!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Hello marisylvia, I have so been enjoying your trip report and your pictures. But please..could you somehow post that gondola video..I have never heard of any gondola tipping over. Were they all drunk? Or are you referring to those little boats that just go across the Grand Canal, I can't think of the name of them right now, sigh, but it starts with a T. Everyone stands up during the ride across the Grand Canal. I never have had the nerve to do that.

And justretired, when you say "but the Fodor's text entry box now includes one" referring to a spelling checker I am confused. Are you referring to the box I am now writing in? The box that is entitled "Your Reply" and if so, where is the spelling checker? Thank you.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Yes, LoveItaly, I am referring to the "Your Reply" box. The spelling checker is always active.

Just type a word that is mispelled (like that one). In the "Your Reply" box, a red dotted underline appears under it. Move the cursor over it, and right-click. A number of alternative spellings will appear. Select "misspelled", and left-click, and your misspelled word will be replaced by the selected spelling.

Just the way the spelling checker acts in Word.

The boats that cross the Grand Canal are called "<i>traghetti</i>". The Italian word "<i>traghetto</i>" simply means "ferry". In Venice, it refers to a boat that crosses the Grand Canal, I think for half a euro per person. These are generally <i>gondole</i>, not regular boats.

But outside of Venice, the word <i>traghetto</i> is generally short for <i>autotraghetto</i>, and refers to a boat that carries cars.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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Hello, LoveItaly

While you're typing in your reply, you'll see the spell checker go to work IF you make a mistake!! Like tthis !!!!

And, those little boats across the Grand Canal are traghetti. They sure are a boon when your feet are tired, and that next bridge is just too far away.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:43 PM
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Uffa ... favorite Italian expression for me .. our posts crossed and you beat me to the wire, justretired.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Apparently YvonneT and I were typing at the same time, except she managed to be a good deal more concise than I. It's a problem of mine.

The only <i>traghetti</i> I ever saw in Venice were themselves <i>gondole</i>. But both LoveItaly and YvonneT have called them "little boats". So I gather that both regular boats and <i>gondole</i> are used as <i>traghetti</i>. The only <i>traghetto</i> I ever rode in Venice was a <i>gondola</i>.

By the way, at the request of some Fodorites on another thread, I've posted a couple of miscellaneous files on Venice. You can see them, and download them if you'd like, at:

http://ljkrakauer.com/docs/travel/

A quarter to midnight here in the Boston area - I'm going to bed.

- Larry
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Well I am a dunce I guess. In this reply box I typed in "mispelled" and "tthis and there is not the little red dots of lines under either misspelled word. I have Vista Home, does that make a difference?

Traghetti, yes those little boats that take one across the canal where everyone stands up. They scare me half to death.

I am going to go to bed soon also Larry as it almost 11:00p.m. here in California.

Wish I knew how you and Yvonne have that spell checker, sigh. But my thanks to both of you to responding to my questions. And Larry, thanks for posting your website, I will enjoy that I am sure. Best regards to both of you.
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