Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you! We awake to a different sound - what is that noise? Throwing open the shutters and finding it difficult to see the windows across the courtyard, we figure it out - fog horns! We've packed up once again, and are moving to a hotel on the other side of town beside San Marco, so after breakfast we hop on a vaporetto and ride the length of the Grand Canal.
It's eerily beautiful, with some palazzos more visible than others as the fog shifts.
I feel a bit sorry for those whose one chance at a gondola ride is this morning... but it certainly adds an air of mystery to the ride!
Palazzo Barbarigo, with it's Murano mosaic façade, is always an eye-catcher.
And the art in front of the Guggen- heim, an unfinished palazzo, its upper levels never completed, pierces the fog with primary colors.
Just a faint outline hints at Giudeca and San Giorgio across the canal.
That statue we saw yesterday is now unveiled.
I met Giorgio, the manager of the beautiful Concordia Hotel, the only hotel in Venice with a view on the Basilica and Piazza San Marco, in December and he has reserved a lovely room for us - like that red Murano chandelier?
We started with a canal view, and now are looking right out on the Basilica. I love hearing the rich deep bells at noon and in the evening. We're on the lookout for wonderful restaurants for the Visions of Venice tour in May, and have a couple of hours to explore before lunch.
We pass an artist's wonderland on our way to the lanes around Santo Stefano, a treasure trove of unique boutiques. The mix-your-own pigments remind us of the colorful village of Roussillon, a Provençal favorite.
The bright balloons at liviodemarchi's gallery look like they could float right out of the window.
Here comes our ride across the canal.
Kirk stands, but I chicken out and sit down after a few oarstrokes across the water.
Lunch is near one of my favorite areas, San Barnaba. It'd be fun to house-swap for an apartment near here, and buy our vegetables off the boat each day.
We had peeked into Vecio Fritolin when on our way to another restaurant earlier this week, and are their first lunch guests of the day. Oh yes, this one's a keeper!
My first course, a fish tartare with orange and fennel, tastes as good as it looks.
We share a plate of gnocchi, then another almost-too- pretty-to- eat main course of monkfish.
The atmosphere is very "old Venice" - yes, this place has been here a looooong time.
Biscotti and vin santo, as anyone who has traveled with us knows, is a favorite. Let's see what the Venice version tastes like! Oh yes, we're looking forward to sharing this wonderful place in May!
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you! Yesterday, on a vaporetto to the islands of the lagoon. Today, on foot along the intriguing lanes of Venice, seeking out artisan workshops and unique shops. Join us for a day of discovery along the canals! After moving our suitcases to another hotel that has given us a complimentary night, the Carlton Grand Canal on the other side of the canal, we make our way to Dorsoduro, an art and artisan-filled sestiere (Venice is divided into 6 "quarters", or sestiere). Several years ago we stayed in a small hotel on the rio San Trovaso, and that's where we start our explorations today. Near the Guidecca Canal end of the rio is one of the few green spaces in Venice, a broad area in front of San Trovaso church. Is that a LAWN?! Unheard of in Venice!
Moored in front of University Foscari is a brocante boat. Kirk checks out the wares.
What's even more enticing is a shabby bar across the way, Vini al Bottegon. If we didn't have lunch reservations on the sunny Zattere, we could easily munch our fill here.
The display cases are filled with yummy looking cichetti (snacks), all of which are only 1 € - edible artwork!
The noon bells are ringing, but we've got a few more places to check out before lunch.
I love these jewel-toned slippers - can I fit a pair or two in my suitcase?
Then there's the contemporary version at the Guggenheim, artfully paint- splattered.
We're continually enthralled with the beauty and workmanship of gondolas and their accoutrements such as the forcola, which holds the oar. There's an old gondola workshop on the adjacent canal, and on Fondamenta Soranzo this fascinating atelier.
I wonder how old THIS treasure is, high on a corner of a narrow street?
We continue strolling, along the Zattere to the very end, Dogana point, where a statue awaits unveiling.
Back along the Zattere, we arrive at La Piscina, where a sunny table awaits us. We're getting reports of snow back home in Virginia, but the sun beats down here as if it's springtime. We enjoy a delicious lunch and are in no hurry to get up, somnolent in the warm rays.
As the winter sun dips lower in the sky, it sheds a path of glitter across the Giudecca Canal.
The Accademia Bridge arches high over the Grand Canal, and we trade photo ops with another couple.
and even an artisans workshop, reminding us of the ones we have visited in Cremona.
They have some great suggestions for hotels for our May trip, and mark several on a map for us, so we spend the next few hours visiting one after the other. The one we loved the most was charming Hotel Flora, with its welcoming garden, another Venice rarity. As we cross the Grand Canal, returning to our hotel for the night, the gorgeous sunset stops us in our tracks, and we join all of the others snapping photos from the Rialto - dreamy!
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 Venice & Burano, Italy Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you!
Gazing down at the busy Grand Canal is an adventure at all hours - but the deliveries, vaporettos and shouts start early in the morning! There's not a trace of last night's fog - just brilliant sun glittering off the water as an early gondolier poles by.
Everything arrives by water: supplies and appliances
tourists in Venice's sleek retro taxis
people on their way to work or play - locals reading the paper and new arrivals snapping photos.
After breakfast in Hotel Continentals ground floor dining room, it's ceiling splashed with bright reflections off the canal, we walk to the Fondamenta Nuova to catch a vaporetto to Burano. The angels and saints atop Santa Maria Assunta near the bus stop look ready to leap into the blue sky. What a perfect day to visit colorful Burano!
We pass the tiny cemetery island of San Michele
the glass foundries of Murano
the little island of Mazzorbo, connected to Burano by a graceful footbridge
and pull into bright cheerful Burano.
A photo- grapher's dream, Burano is at its best today, showing off in the bright sun.
It was foggy here yesterday too, so today is THE day to hang out the laundry - propped up by a tippy stick, backed up by a tippy campanile.
I wouldn't want to stand too close to that belltower!
Reflections of the vivid homes in the canal remind me of our friend Monica's photos - a series of only reflections in Burano, the colors as clear as the homes themselves.
We could wander these kaleido- scopic streets for hours, but have a restaurant to visit back in Venice.
Osteria da Alberto comes highly recommended by our friend Beth (another great photographer) and they live up to their reputation today. We're almost the last ones there for lunch, and enjoy the two daily specials, spaghetti with clams, mussels, and cherry tomatoes, and a risotto with shrimp and porcini. "Do you want a plate of cicchetti?"our waiter asks. Oh yes - and the generous plate of savory antipasti bites is a terrific warmup for lunch.
We visit a few hotels in the afternoon, and stop by La Fenice, Venice's grandly rebuilt opera house. There's so much to watch for in Venice... while making sure not to step off the sidewalk into a canal, I keep looking up as well... glad we didn't miss this beautiful Annunciation on a street corner.
we listen to a Parisian virtuoso, Geoffroy Couteau, fill the room with the beautiful harmonies of Charles-Valentin Alkan, a French Romantic composer unknown to us (Bru Zane is the international Center of French Romantic Music) , and the 24 preludes of Chopin. What a fabulous finale to this beautiful day - and more Venetian discoveries await us tomorrow!
Slip into the window seat in our aisle and join us on our search for a symphony of views, flavors, culture, sounds, and friends. We'll let you know when we hear the harmony we seek - whether in a WOW classical concert, an awesome night of jazz, a magical vineyard or olive farm, or an outstanding bistro, trattoria, wine, garden, or experience. From our delightful maison de village near a Languedoc beach* to a canal-side string ensemble in Amsterdam, you'll read and feel like a real local.
Contact us: email@example.com
The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we're interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive. We've visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and in the the south of France.
We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with you.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk's background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.