Our month in Venice

Old May 27th, 2009, 01:16 PM
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yvonne - i was posting at the same time as just-retired. i think that sounds much better than my suggestion.

some italian dialects ARE close to spanish - i had an italian teacher from Sardinia who said that when he went to Spain, he could understand what they said much better than when he went to Florence.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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This reminds me of being in Barcelona, being able to understand a lot of written Catalan, which is closer to French (which I know) than Spanish (which I don't). When we see maps of Europe, we should remember that historically what is within a country's present boundaries does not relate to the city states, with their own languages, which were incorporated often fairly recently.

Thanks to those who write encouraging compliments. I just popped in to see what was happening, but can't stay because it's such a beautiful day and my rose garden needs me, and then I need to put in some time on my Wii Fit. My Pilates teacher, who I worked out with this morning, has been tough on me since I returned. My hamstrings were screaming for mercy!

I'll try to get some more posting in soon if I can.

The "parecio" investigation is fascinating. I appreciate the intrepid scholarship.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Good morning/buongiorno,

I just love it when something in a post triggers an erudite discussion!! Thank you, justretired and annhig, for your research. Now, we can all go and construct our own gondola or sandolo.

Someone had told me about the symbolism of the iron decoration at the prow of a gondola, and there it was in one of justretired's links:

"The 'fero da prova', that is the prow iron, has undergone changes during the centuries. According to popular tradition, its higher part represents the doge's horn, that is the famous hat worn by the doges, the six front teeth stand for Venice 'sestieri' (i.e. six quarters) and the one facing the boat, the seventh, for the Giudecca, one of the many city isles. The S-sharped iron mirrors the course of the Grand Canal, Venice main waterway." I was also told that the open bit below the Doge's horn represents Rialto bridge.

I think everyone on marisylvia's thread needs to plan a get together in Venice; we'd make many interesting discoveries. So, thank you, marisylvia, for triggering many diverse responses.

Yvonne
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:13 PM
  #104  
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Thank you, Yvonne, for your contributions to the discussion. What a great itdea; if only...John and I enjoyed meeting you, and your sparkling (should I say frizzante?) personality and sense of humor make you great company.

A question for Larry: I've been using Word, thanks to you, and I don't know why my Bold in word doesn't appear in the post. I keep forgetting how to format it, and get lazy about it.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Our learned fellow Venice lover (justretired) has posted this link regarding formatting. If I wasn't such a sloth, I'd use it!


http://ljkrakauer.com/tags.htm
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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marisylvia, using Word is just so you can save every now and then while typing a long post, and you can also enter accented characters. But there's no use doing formatting like <b>bold</b> in Word, since all such formatting will be lost when you paste it into the Fodor's "Your Reply" box.

YvonneT has pointed you to http://ljkrakauer.com/tags.htm, my page on formatting. But I know it's a bit daunting, and really, I can give you the simple stuff in a few lines:

Type &lt;b>text&lt;/b>, and you'll get <b>text</b>
Type &lt;i>text&lt;/i>, and you'll get <i>text</i>
Type &lt;u>text&lt;/u>, and you'll get <u>text</u>
Type &lt;s>text&lt;/s>, and you'll get <s>text</s>

Unlike formatting, accented characters WILL copy/paste properly from Word. See this page for how to enter them:

http://ljkrakauer.com/accents.htm

The method in the second part talks about how to enter them in Word, or you can use the method in the first part to enter them directly into the Fodor's text entry box (print it out to have the chart in front of you).

<b>Don't forget to "Preview" your post before hitting "Submit".</b> When using these formatting features, it's easy to make mistakes.

I hope this helps, without being too long.

Larry
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Thanks, Larry, for this excellent advice. My Fodor's future depends on you. I'm too tired now to work on the trip report--tomorrow and tomorrow, etc.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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<b>Second Week</b>

I’m going to mainly post pictures, with some commentary.

We had enjoyed splendid weather, and returned to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection for more art, lunch, and people watching.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000591.jpg
Our table at the PG café had a great view of the garden:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000582.jpg
In April, the café is draped in wisteria. That is John at the balcony, where our table was:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000589.jpg
We walked along Fondamenta Venier after leaving the museum, and saw some artful construction:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000592.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000596.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000595.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000597.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000605.jpg
Seaweed wafts on the steps:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000606.jpg

We decided to walk around the area.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000613.jpg
I like this sign:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000610.jpg
An embrace in the campiello:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000616.jpg
No comment:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000620.jpg
I love the textural contrasts here:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000621.jpg
A burst of color:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000623.jpg
The Madonna watches the walkers on the bridge:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000626.jpg
He reminds me of my 18 year old orange cat; proud but fading:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000624.jpg
We saw a stylish young mother on the Fondamenta Bragadin:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000631.jpg
The forcole workshop:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000636.jpg
An array of tourists:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000640.jpg
This is where I bought my baubles:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000642.jpg

On the vaporetto going home, I spotted some oarsmen:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000649.jpg

This shop on the way to our apartment had always had a blind drawn, but today it was open:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000651.jpg
We would have gone in if we weren’t tired, and had known we wouldn’t see it open again.

One day we went to an exhibition at Ca’ Foscari, the University. It was on Ethiopian Christians, their culture, artifacts, rituals, and buildings. I took a picture of the courtyard:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000663.jpg

Then we wandered around, and saw a huge Murano chandelier in a shop window, looking like a creature in an aquarium:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000662.jpg

A figure lurked nearby:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000667-1.jpg

One day we took our wheeled cart with empty bottles to Dorsoduro, and got them filled with decent house red here for 1 ½ euros:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000666-1.jpg
This place overflows onto the bridge in the evening, when people come for the cicchetti.

When we visited Venice in 2005, we were lucky to find, entirely by accident, the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica. We met some students, and were given a tour by one of the teachers, Patricia Smith, who teaches at Penn but comes here to teach in the summer. It is also where the artists we met on the Fondamenta della Misericordia teach.

This time there was hardly anyone there, so we just looked around.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000674-1.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000685-1.jpg
The Scuola’s garden abuts a canal, and I saw some oarsmen; they are fast!
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000687.jpg

We headed back to Cannaregio.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000693.jpg
I saw a girl skipping rope, being bugged by her little brother:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000705.jpg
A neighborhood gelateria:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000707.jpg
On the Fondamenta della Misericordia, approaching the bridge to our apartment, across the canal from the restaurant:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000709.jpg
Ristorante Diana, open every day, rain or shine. Our apartment is the one with two balconies, on the end.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000710.jpg
Next to it is the Iguana Mexican restaurant, only open for dinner:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000711.jpg
Here is our view of the restaurant from the apartment:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000714.jpg

Time for a lunch break.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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marisyl

In a month's time, you're going to picture-record the greatest compilaton of Venetian scenes by an American!
We're returning to Venice in October...first visit since 1993...but before that we had been there numerous times. Staying near the Fondaments della Misericordia..actually just across the canal near St.Stae vap stop. I'm looking over your communiques very closely..will be referred to many times!
Thank you so much for taking the time!! Truly appreciated.

Stu Tower
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Old May 28th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Thanks, Stu. I'm lucky that technology has enabled me to do this trip report. Have a wonderful time in October; you should be prepared for changes, of course.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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<b>Nelle1</b>--For some reason I overlooked your question about hotels in Venice. I'm sorry, you must think I am rude.

What a great destination to celebrate your anniversary! I'm afraid I don't know anything about hotels in Venice, as we stay in apartments.

We had lunch at La Piscina, which is the restaurant for La Calcina, the hotel on the Zattere which used to be Ruskin's house. The hotel looks lovely, and the location is excellent. It is on the Zattere, but also not far from the Grand Canal. We rented an apartment near there in 2005, near Campo San Vio, and really enjoyed that area.

Have you considered a vacation apartment? There are some beautiful, romantic ones available. You might look at www.venice-rentals.com. We rented the San Vio apartment from them, and they specialize in top of the line apartments.

One thing I like about having a flat is not having to dress up for breakfast. You don't have to cook, really, maybe make a pot of coffee, or maybe the kitchen will have a Nespresso machine. Have some gelato in the freezer and top it with fresh berries which you can get from a fascinating excursion to the Rialto market, and that's all you need. Have a second honeymoon, in other words.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Marisylvia,

I am still enjoying your photos. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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I just topped my own Venice Trip Report to note that the 35th running of the <i>vogalonga</i> boat race is coming up in three days, on May 31, 2009:

http://www.vogalonga.com/eng/index_ing.asp

In that trip report, we reported on the problems that arose for us when, on the day we were leaving Venice, the <i>vogalonga</i> closed the Grand Canal.

The Trip Report is at:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ort-venice.cfm

- Larry
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:10 PM
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<b>Resuming the trip report—Wine Tasting! Acqua Alta! and More…</b>

When we first visited Venice in 2005, we walked across St. Mark’s Square and were so appalled by the throng of tourists that we easily found other things to do than see the Basiclica or the Doge’s Palace. But this time we applied ahead of time for the Senior Museum Card for 10 euros, giving us admission to the famous sites but also Museo Correr, Ca’ Pesaro, Ca’ Rezzonico, and Carlo Goldoni’s house.

I knew we needed a tour to go with admission, to avoid the lines but also give us useful information. I chose a Brit company, Venice Walks and Tours (www.tours-venice-italy.com), as the Brits have a long history of ardor for Venice.

We booked our St. Mark’s Square experience for Tuesday April 28.

I saw they also offered a wine tasting with cicchetti experience, which they described as a chance to meet other tourists and mingle with locals at an enoteca. We signed up for Monday evening.

It had been raining—April in Venice—when we’d visited before, also in April and May, we’d been surprised by not only thunderstorms, but a hail storm had made us seek cover in a portico.

We were looking forward to a convivial evening, and walked over to the enoteca near Rialto, splashing along, doing the dance you have to with open umbrellas meeting others in narrow calles.

We went into the designated place, and entered into a room serving pizza. We said we were there for the wine tasting, and were led to the bar and a table for two. There were a few people at the bar—definitely not there for the wine tasting—and us. So much for the convivial evening. But we enjoy each other’s company, and the cicchetti and wine started being served.

We were amused when an old timer entered with his dog, in a creative raincoat:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000884.jpg

We had noticed a glassed cabinet next to our table with huge wine glasses in it, and John joked about them looking rather daunting. To our surprise, our waiter took two out, and served us the last of five wines, amarone, the king of Italian wines. It was lovely, and we did our best to appreciate it:
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000888_2.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000889_2.jpg
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000887_2.jpg

Afterward, heading for the vaporetto, we heard the aqua alta sirens. The stop we went to was closed, and we were directed to the next one nearby. We saw workmen putting down the raised walkways which we’d seen stacked up in many places.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000895.jpg


A #2 vaporetto pulled up; we needed a #1. We talked to the conductor, saying we were surprised this was happening in April, and he was quite upset about it, saying it shouldn’t be happening now. We waited for a #1.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...s/P1000902.jpg

When our boat came, we passed the Rialto Market, and could see the water was invading it. The trip seemed somehow haunted.
http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/v...P1000903_2.jpg

Back at the apartment, I looked at the canal as we went to bed, and the water level was almost to overflow.

When we woke up in the morning, I commented to John that the drain plug had been pulled. The water level was much lower. With aqua alta, it’s a matter of high tide plus rain, This was a dramatic example of it.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Larry, I loved your trip report on Venice. Thanks for the link. So you and Margie ate at Trattoria da Silva, too. I appreciate your comments on the way of life in Venice, which is amazing to us, so dependent on cars. Someone we met remarked on how hard people work in Venice. We saw a woman with what looked like a washing machine in a box, taking it up and down a bridge with a dolly.

We. too, had our passes (iMob cards) checked by the vaporetto inspector, which had never happened in 2005.

The Vogalongo--how I'd love to see it some day! The Venetian oarsmen do things their own way, standing up. I was thrilled by a few sightings of them. I'm glad you cleverly responded to the discovery of the Grand Canal closure. Well done.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the wine bar filling up the wine bottles with their house wine for 1.5 Euro! We went to that place about 6 times on our last trip to Venice and never realized that they do that! I'll make a point of "filling up" there the next time. Is it best to go during the early afternoon before the place gets busy?
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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SCFoodie, I'd say mid-afternoon is good, because they also serve chicchetti for lunch. It's a great place to go for a Venice-style experience around 6:30 or so, with everyone out on the fondamenta and the bridge, all ages socializing.

It was what I'd thought we'd find at the wine tasting, which cost 25 euros each. I'd say do it yourself at Al Bottebon.

We also had gone to a wine store on one of the side streets of Strada Nove, hoping to find a refill closer to home. We were given a haughty response when we asked about house wine refills. Harrumph!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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hi marisylvia,

for future reference, if you are on the east [san marco] side of the Rialto bridge and venture beyond the public toilets at the rear of the campo san bartolomeo, there is a nice little wine shop that sells wine by the [water] bottle, including a very decent prosecco.

incidentally, it's "cicheti", which is pronouced as you have written it. a little knowledge [mine] is a dangerous thing!

regards, ann
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Thanks, Ann. I hope there is a next time; we made our reservations for the apartment and plane in February 2008, when our nest egg was larger. Retirement looms for John...

But this information is worthwhile for other Venice visitors. Filling a water bottle sounds great, especially if it's with prosecco!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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Actually, it's <i>cicchetti</i>. I wasn't going to say anything, since I figured it was just a typo. Pronounced "chee-KEH-tee".

This opening allows me to go off on a small language rant. "ch" in Italian is ALWAYS pronounced like a K, no exceptions. Which brings up the common American mispronunciation that drives my Italian teacher crazy: <i>bruschetta</i> is pronounced "brouss-KEH-ta", not "brou-SHEH-ta".

It's curious that the rules of Italian vs. English sometimes produce a complete reversal of the c/ch sounds. In Italian, a soft "c" is pronounced like an English "ch", while an Italian "ch" is always pronounced like an English hard "c" (that is, like a "k").

The word <i>cicchetti</i> is plural, like almost all Italian words ending in "i" (although there are some Greek-based exceptions, like <i>tesi</i>, meaning "thesis"). Thus, <i>spaghetti</i>, <i>gnocchi</i>, and <i>biscotti</i> are all plural, for instance.

The derivations:

<i>spago</i> (string), plus the diminutive ending <i>etto</i> yields <i>spaghetto</i>, meaning "little string". You usually have a bunch of them together, hence the plural, <i>spaghetti</i>.

The past participle of the Italian verb <i>cuocere</i> (to cook) is irregular, <i>cotto</i>. Add the Latin prefix "bis" (twice), and you get <i>biscotto</i>, which means "twice cooked". You cook it once to make the bread, and then again to make it crispy, turning it into a biscuit. The plural is <i>biscotti</i>. By the way, "biscuit" in English comes from the French <i>biscuit</i>, which in a similar way means "twice cooked" in French.

A student in my Italian class once said to our native Italian teacher, "While <i>gnocchi</i> is technically a plural, you would never use its singular version (<i>gnocco</i." The teacher looked skeptical, and replied, "What if you dropped one on the floor?"

Another common American mispronunciation: <i>grigio</i> (as in <i>pinot grigio</i. It's pronounced "GREE-joe" in Italian, not "GREE-jee-oh". The rule is that an unstressed "i" after a "c" or a "g" and in front of another vowel is silent. That's why <i>ciao</i> is "chow" and not "chee-ow". The "i" just serves to soften the "c".

Sorry. Give me an inch, and I'll take a mile.

Larry
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