Monday, April 19, 2010

Venezia, day 2 – more churches, the traghetto and the Bridge of Sighs

The youngest research team member was desperate for a drink (she likes the freshly squeezed OJ here) so we had a break in a caffe.

Then we took the traghetto across the river at San Toma.

A traghetto is a public gondola which takes people across from one side of the Grand Canal to the other between bridges for the bargain price of 50 cents each (DH said taking this one would save us a two-mile walk, but really it was because he'd read up on them and really wanted to try one). This is the one before ours.

Apparently most Venetians stand up to go across. You can spot the tourists because they go all twitchy and sit down! Which we did, as it rocked like crazy as people got on (not to mention the floorboards moving).

Visited the church of San Stefano. Beautiful paintings by Tintoretto and a stunning ship's-keel roof. (Sorry, no pics for this one. You’re not supposed to take pics inside Venetian churches. I’ve taken naughty snaps without a flash here and there because I wanted to share the joy of the architecture, but felt that it would a bit disrespectful to flout the rules openly and put the curator to the trouble of coming over and telling me not to take photographs.)

On the way out to dinner that eavening we passed Santa Maria della Visitatione (aka La Pieta) - the church where Vivaldi was the choirmaster.
Close by is the house where Francesco Petrarca (aka the 14th-century poet who pretty much gave courtly love poetry a facelift with his sonnets to Laura) lived in the 1360s.

We ate at a little osteria (risotto with langoustines and rocket, followed by tartufo panna). The waiter, Marco, was absolutely charming - Madam was tired and he really was so sweet to her.

Then we had a wander home along the quayside. The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte di Sospiri - so-called from the sighs of the prisoners who were dragged across it to the prison) is currently being restored, so only part is visible. (That's the middle bit. The rest is a huge Bulgari ad.)

Ice cream tried today (obviously not all me - we tried one flavour each and shared tastes) - crema, fior di latte (white vanilla), fragola, cacao, limone, vaniglia, caramel.

Steps today: 28,000 (924 calories); so far, 58,000 steps.


Jan Jones said...

No, no, I think he's right. Definitely saved you 2 miles.

Lacey Devlin said...

Just the names of your ice cream sound incredible! Fantastic pictures too :)

Kate Hardy said...

LOL, Jan. It was an experience :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Lacey - they tasted even nicer than they sounded! Glad you're enjoying the pics.