Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There Was Wind

On Easter Sunday, we awoke to the sounds of violent wind whipping around the streets of Venice. We had planned to take the morning slowly, have some Italian coffee, and prepare for our afternoon Gondola lesson. Unfortunately, I received a call early on explaining that due to the crazy wind, the lesson would have to be postponed, possibly to the following day. We were not too keen on this idea, but later understood why. The wind was not at all a mild springtime waft, but rather a raging mistral. Regardless, we pushed out into the gleaming, if slightly misleading sunshine, and began exploring the city.

One of the best things to do in Venice is to wander and get lost. None of the streets make sense, all routes are constantly changing direction, and it is incredibly normal to run smack dab into a dead end or a canal when you think you have finally found your way. Sometimes this can be frustrating, but as long as you have no time restraints, it is generally the life and soul of the experience. During our first romp in the early afternoon, we actually walked right into a restaurant slash wine bar my father had recommended we check out. It ended up being a perfect lunch spot, with cute little sandwiches and excellently made Spritzes, one of the most popular cocktails in town. After fully satisfying our stomachs with food, drink and caffeine, we were ready to hit up some Venetian highlights. We traversed the Rialto Bridge, made our way past Saint Mark's Basilica, and even waited in line to go up the San Marco Campanile for a panoramic view of Venice. This was when we truly realized how intense the wind was, spending about 90 seconds snapping pictures before running right back down the tower again. Partly because of the icy cold wind and partly because it looked admittedly beautiful, we also spent some time in the Teatro La Fenice and then wiled away the rest of the afternoon taking a water taxi all through the canals so we could get a true sense of the scenery.

For dinner, we made reservations at a restaurant the American couple we had met in Florence recommended. The menu appeared pricey, but we were ready to indulge, and were not at all disappointed. Like so many other restaurants in Italy, the table charge came with substantial treats, beginning with a plate of yummy cheesy fried looking bites and bruschetta. We shared a lemon zesty risotto for an appetizer, than a succulent sea bass for our main course. After the bottle of prosecco we ordered, we were also given two bottles of liqueur along with a plate of Italian cookies for our dessert. I would suggest we polished off just a tad too much of the digestifs, but as goes the saying, waste not want not. Our post-dinner plan was to go up to the Cannaregio area to experience some night life. As it was a Sunday and Easter at that, the area was not as hopping as we had hoped. We tried a couple of bars, had a few drinks, but weren't all that impressed with our reception at most places. Even so, the hot blonde cousins always know how to have a good time, so no time was wasted before we headed back to our home sweet hotel. Fortunately, the wind refrained from pushing us directly into the canals, so all in all the day was a roaring success.

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