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Italy

The Hidden Nest: Venice

Searching for John Berendt

John Berendt is one of my favorite writers. No trip to Venice would be complete without searching out the places he describes in his book The City of Falling Angels. One of my destinations was to find "The Hidden Nest"; home to the writer Ezra Pound and his lover Olga Rudge. This was not as easy as it sounds. The address is 252 Calle Querini near Rio Fornace canal on Dorsoduro. I strolled the main street next to the canal taking in the sights as I walked. The narrow Calle Querini was difficult to find. It was indeed hidden.

Read Berendt's book. It is rich, wonderful, and filled with stories about Venice and Venetians.
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Posted by teethetrav 10:12 Archived in Italy Tagged venice dorsoduro john_berendt the_hidden_nest ezra_pound olga_rudge Comments (0)

Venice: Shopping

Italian shopping at its best

Although it's not known as a shopping mecca, Venice is still part of Italy. Shopping anywhere in Italy is an experience not to be missed or overlooked. Okay, much of my shopping consists of window shopping ("licking the window" is an apt phrase although French, not Italian it still applies). The window displays are sometimes enough to statisfy me. For example, these stunning glasses: DSC02393.jpg If I owned them, I'd be terrified of breaking one. So I am completely content to ogle them in the window.

DSC02394.jpg I am also elated to gaze at the windows at any of the Venezia Stadium stores. Look at these colors! Look at these fabrics! One pillow can cost 75 euros! I'd be terrified to own anything that came from these stores. Even if I could afford them. DSC02390.jpg

Of course, shopping makes me hungry so I have to stop and have some bruschetta and vino while being serenaded on San Marco Piazza.

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But my all time favorite non-purchase were the tiny figures that are as big as my thumbnail. I stood transfixed forever watching these "Tiny Dancers."

Posted by teethetrav 12:27 Archived in Italy Tagged food venice shopping Comments (0)

Murano, Italy

Venetian Glass

I am obsessed with glass and glass-making. My favorite contemporary artist is Dale Chihuly from Seattle and I never miss a chance to see a piece by him or an exhibit in whatever city I’m in. In fact, I first encountered his work in a PBS documentary that was filmed in –where else?—Venice. This one-eyed genius was floating glass bubbles down the Grand Canal and trying not to get caught by the water police! DSC02350.jpg

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Take the vaporetto (water bus) # 41 from San Daniele to Murano and plan to spend the day. Buy a packet of at least ten tickets if you are going to spend a few days. The glass museum is closed on Wednesdays. DSC02351.jpg Wander in and out of the show rooms and ask to see something special and they will take you to their back or upstairs which are museums in and of themselves. Some will offer you a factory tour. Although the hope is that you will make a purchase, it is fine to just be a tourist and take it the beauty of the craft. Although, I HAD to puchase this little jewel! DSC02363.jpg

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In Venice, my personal favorite is Seguso glass, but there are many others who I appreciate for their beauty, such as Venini. And of course, because this is after all still Italy, stop for a bite along the water. I had this delicious piatto of seafood and a lovely of glass of wine.DSC02362.jpg

Posted by teethetrav 09:36 Archived in Italy Tagged venice italy glass italian murano Comments (0)

Things to do in and around the Dorsoduro Part 2

Venice

Venice is famous for its masks, now used mostly during Carnevale. The tiny mask shop where Stanley Kubrick had masks custom-made for his film Eyes Wide Shut was around the corner from my apartment. 7DSC02316.jpg DSC02317.jpg As was this fountain. 90_DSC02299.jpg Every day, for a few hours each day, a large dog was tied to this fountain and greeted everyone who passed by. When he wasn’t sleeping, of course.

The Dorsoduro is made up of small neighborhoods. My apartment was steps and one tiny bridge away from the Piazza San Barnaba where locals gravitate before school or work to have a quick espresso or cappuccino at the bar. I had mine with a warm brioche filled with marmalade. You could smell them baking from down the street. The piazza fills up again at lunch (siesta) time. Later in the day, people once again flock to the piazza for an aperitif after work. This being Venice, prosecco is the local favorite. Some of the crowd lingers on for dinner. I had a lovely meal and delicious house wine at Oniga. DSC02397.jpg
This is a small piazza but it has all the essentials; incredible gelato at GROM …crema grom is the specialty and it’s amazing. DSC02398.jpgA few small restaurants, shops, and a church. The church was hosting a small show of models of Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs. That’s one of the features about Italy I love best. Even in the smallest neighborhood, in a relatively obscure church, you can find wonderful art that is not really there for the tourists. The locals were the predominant audience for this show. DSC02395.jpg
Docked alongside the canal next to the piazza is the produce boat. The smells are intoxicating; onions, peppers, gorgeous ripe fruit and the most brilliant looking tomatoes tempt everyone who passes by and most people can’t walk by without stopping to buy at least a piece of fruit.
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Posted by teethetrav 06:20 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Things to do in and around the Dorsoduro: Part 1

Food and Art

Things to do in and around the Dorsoduro

Wander. Get lost. Eat. The Dorsoduro has many little discoveries you don’t need a tour guide for. When you walk across to the end of the island you look across at La Giudecca on the southern lagoon; an incredible view. Walk along the water and take in the views. Stop and eat or have an aperitif and an antipasto at one of the many restaurants that dot the shoreline. I stopped at Caffe La Piscina (www.lacalcina.com) and had amazing pesce misto bruschetta; mixed fish. And the view from the restaurant…. Well, you can see for yourself.
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At the furthest tip of the Dorsoduro, beyond the church, Santa Maria della Salute, is the newest art museum called Punta della Dogana. Part of Palazzo Grassi, the building itself is a renovated palazzo that alone justifies the price of admission (7 euros). But the art is worth seeing, as well. While the Palazzo Grassi houses older, Renaissance art, this museum showcases modern art and much of it is political and disturbing. Pieces such as this soccor (futbol) game are thought- provoking and a contrast to the art that you find all over Venice.
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The naked statue holding a giant frog is a conversation starter outside the museum.
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Posted by teethetrav 06:12 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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