Sunday, May 25, 2014

Venice Day 2: Island hopping and too much wine!

Today was our Lagoon day!  We did not have a chance to get to the islands on our trip 14 years ago so I really wanted to this time.  I hoped to visit at least Murano, Burano and Torcello (and maybe St. Michelle) but, us not being early birds and having a 6pm date for a cicchetti tour with Alessandro, we only made it to Murano and Burano.  So glad we made the effort, though!

Photo op by Bridge of Sighs
We took the vaporetto from San Toma to San Marco and figured out which boat to take to Murano; thankfully it was the express! It was a 20 minute trip, I think. We got off and started walking around Murano, loosely following the Rick Steves tour. We bought some souvenirs, popped into the church, made our way to the Glass Museum (which would not be worth it without the Museum Pass) and enjoyed the sunshine and views of this cute, bustling town.



 We then caught the boat to Burano. The boat stopped at Mazzorbo and we could see Torcello in the near distance. We got to Burano and followed a street with lots of shops and other tourists. This is a tiny and adorable town! The colors on this bright sunshiny day were spectacular! We didn't want to sit down for lunch (and had not made a reservation at the foodie haven, Il Gato Nero) so grabbed pizza, panini's and drinks at a little joint just off the main drag. We all enjoyed this down to earth fare...

There's not much to do on Burano, I think, other than shop; marvel at the colorful, pretty buildings; eat; pop into the church; and visit the lace museum (excellent!). We did all of that and we all loved every moment! I wish we'd had more time there.



Burano: we had lunch near here

Happy in cute Burano


We took the boat from Burano to Fondamenta Nove and walked to the Rialto Bridge.  This was another nice wander in Venice.  I treated hubby to a 6Euro cap, lol.

Our next adventure: a cicchetti tour with Alessandro (recommended by Rick Steves). Our small group included a couple of friends from NOLA (Charlie and Liz) who had arrived in Venice that day, a couple from Chicago (Nick and Liz), and a woman from Florida (Betty). We met Alessandro at the top of the Rialto bridge and all became best buds by the end of the tour, thanks to the copious amounts of wine, no doubt!

Alessandro is a native Venetian whose job is this--roaming Venice with groups of tourists, telling tales, drinking wine and eating ciccheti. Not a bad gig, in my opinion! We went to three different places and he ordered for the group. We had fresh wine, and a lot of it, and different types of cichetti. He was a bit confounded by my vegetarian/pickyness but produced some good potato and cheese dishes for me to munch on. He's a good storyteller and has lived an interesting life. I wanted to hear more about Venice and her history and how she's faring now but did enjoy this evening of drinking, munching and chatting.

Us with Alessandro and Charlie and Liz

Cicchetti for the picky eater!

After Alessandro left us, we all went back to the first bar near the Rialto bridge, and spent some time getting to know each other. The couple from Chicago, Nick and Liz, want to visit NOLA and we want to visit Chicago, so we may meet up again one day! At the end of the evening, we walked our friends toward their hotels and took the vaporetto home to our apartment.

Another fabulous day in Venice!

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