The original target of these Spring travels was, in fact, Venice, so the last four days were dedicated to exploring that unique city. I hadn’t been there in 18 years, but then again, not much has changed in a lot of ways.
It’s only a two-hour drive from Friuli to Venice. I returned my Slovenian rental car at the airport (no need for it in Venice), and I hired a private vaporetto across the lagoon to a small dock on San Marco very near my hotel. While my room was being cleaned and made ready, I went to lunch a a classic Venetian osteria, Enoteca Al Volto, for lunch. Sarde in Saor, with white polenta and a glass of white wine from the region — I was definitely in Venezia!
Returning to the hotel, I inquired about musical performances this week. I was informed that La Traviata was at the opera house, La Fenice. When? This afternoon? Can I get a ticket? How far? Only a 10-minute walk…see you later. So happily ensconced in the first row of the orchestra, I watched my favorite opera. Benissimo!
The next few days I wandered around the narrow streets and alleys, taking pictures, eating and drinking, inhaling all that is Venice.
Another musical experience was a concert by Interpreti Veneziani, a group of astonishingly good string players who perform works of Vivaldi, Boccherini, and other composers of that era. The play in the lovely old church, Chiesa San Vidal. It was a wonderful evening.
One day I dedicated to exploring one of the islands in the lagoon — Burano. An old fishing village, the island is best noted for the dramatic and varied colors that the houses are painted, supposedly so the fishermen could find the island through the mists as they returned home. It was certainly visual candy, punctuated by a very fine seafood meal at Trattoria al Gatto Nero, with a table outside along the canal. Here are some highlights.