Sunday, October 16, 2005: Canals and Calles
Sometime after 2am this morning, I finally fell asleep. M, who experienced no insomnia issues whatsover, bounded out of bed just before 8am proclaiming, “It’s a beautiful day outside – come on, we’re burning daylight!”
Easy for you to say buddy. You got 11 hours of sleep.
Not wanting to waste any of our precious hours in Venice however, I got up shortly thereafter and made espresso in my new best friend, the Bialetta moka pot. Even after my fitful night, we were out of the apartment by 9am.
First order of business – cappuccino on the Strada Nova. We found a corner cafe not far from our apartment and enjoyed light pastries and cappuccinos as we watched the world walk by. That is probably one of my favorite aspects of travelling anywhere in Europe – you can hear several languages at any given time. In a place like Venice, the sound of another American speaking is proving to be an unwelcome distraction.
After fueling up with appropriate doses of caffeine, we decided to just wander through the Cannaregio “sestiere”, or neighborhood, where our apartment is located. We soon found ourselves in a charming campo – the Campo de Santo Apostoli. Surrounded with charming shops and cafes, it was just one of many fun “surprises” as we walked from our neighborhood to the more touristed areas of the Rialto Bridge, where we enjoyed a pricey cappuccino right next to the bridge.
Just five minutes after my second cappucino of the day, I indulged in a small scoop of coconut gelato – the first of three scoops I enjoyed. It’s a darn good thing we walked a lot today.
We soon found ourselves in San Marco Square – tourista centrale for Venice. We bought a bag of pigeon food so Michael could film me being attacked by hundreds of pigeons. He found it quite amusing.
When I volunteered to tape him doing the same, he declined. After that, we walked around a bit more and then decided to take the lift up to the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower) where we enjoyed a 360 degree view of Venice and the lagoon, followed by a couple of hours at Doge’s Palace.
After disembarking from the vaporetto, we walked to the Billa supermarket and picked up some basic groceries and then ate dinner at the same restaurant as last night. I didn’t have the french fry pizza but instead chose spaghetti with clams and a glass of the house white wine. We were back in our apartment by 8pm for some much needed R&R, tomorrow will be a busy day.