• Water, Water, Everywhere!

    Venice, Italy…I set the alarm for 6 am this morning to watch the magnificent sail into Venice! The cool air and cloudy skies were a welcome change of pace from days of boundless sunshine and soaring temperatures.

    Venice assaults you with historic beauty, ever present smells, a crush of tourists, and the singing of gondola drivers. It’s an overload on the senses…some moments amazing and some overwhelming!

    Getting lost in the winding streets is a must…the best designer clothing shops, exquisite fine jewelry, Italian crafted leathers, and of course Murano glass blown into every imaginable thing all abound down unsuspecting alley ways.

    I made my way thru St Marks Square to the Rialto Bridge and then a much needed rest stop at the Italianate Danieli Hotel overlooking the Grand Canal. Throughout the day, I marveled at the Carnival masks and decor and see people buying it up in droves…what will they do with those masks back home?I guess they are just caught up in the moment…

    I passed on a gondola ride this visit and thought a delicious Italian lunch Venetian style sounded perfect! The concierge recommended “Corte Sconta” and said I would love the seafood & pasta…navigating my way there was definitely a challenge but after finding this little gem, I was seated under a trellised ceiling filled with a bounty of grapes. The setting was perfect and the food was even better! Seafood made with Venetian flair; carpaccio of fresh tuna for starters followed by homemade pasta of red snapper and eggplant and tagliatelle with anchovies. These mild anchovies gave a rich salty taste and were an incredible compliment to the pasta. I hate anchovies but loved this dish! It always pays to step out of the norm and leave your comfort zone behind!

    The wonders of Italy never cease…

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  • Abbondanza!

    Ravenna, Italy…we made a beeline across the Adriatic Sea and landed at Ravenna, Italy. Another tiny town I knew nothing about! Famous for it’s ancient Mosaics and its tie to Dante.

    This is no place I ever thought of visiting, but I never met an Italian town I didn’t like… You always know when you are in Italy; even in a small town like this there is the unmistakeable mix of food and fashion done only in a way the Italians can do it, set amongst holy sights and ancient architecture!

    I am mesmerized by all the sights: I go from ogling into store windows obsessing over the best looking sunglasses & chicest designer fashions to marveling at intricate mosaics at the Basilica di San Vitale and then stumbling upon Dante’s tomb. Just as I walk into a shop ready to spend my euros, the gate comes down and the store closes…it’s lunchtime in Italy and nothing gets between an Italian and food!

    So twist my arm, I shall do as the locals…MANGIA time! I wander into a crowded little storefront that looks more delicatessen than restaurant,” Pasta Fresca e Piadina”. I am in love! Freshly made pasta is laid out, you choose the pasta, and then Mama takes it to the back and cooks it up with fresh sauce!
    They also love Piadina here more than pizza…it’s like an Italian quesadilla filled with a myriad of options. I guess I’ll have to try it all!

    I can’t forget fashion! I notice the hip Italian men rocking raw edged scoop neck tees…back home everybody is still pushing how low they can go in the v neck, but here it’s the scoop…the men do have great clavicles! I even see it layered, another Italian signature…
    Women here are also are mix masters; ethnic, 80’s, Chanel, color, etc all at once! How do they make it look so right? A major chunky statement necklace seems to be on every Woman! Ok, I think I carb loaded and need a nap….

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