Amsterdam & Italy 2011: Day 5 - Venice, gelato & other junk 19Apr2011

Slept in, ate gelato again, walked some more, had a siesta, ate gigantic meringue seashells, walked some more, ate a big dinner; those are the highlights aside from the gondalier whistling “The Final Countdown!

You can’t go to Italy and not eat gelato, right? Ummm, like once or twice a day? We managed to try one place last night before the seder to give us strength to last until meal time. Today of course we ate it because we earned it after a lot of walking. Strawberry always ends up being a winner when in doubt, but Rum and Raisin was pretty darn good combined with coffee. Tomorrow, another town, another gelato as we move onward to Florence by train.

Today was a great chance to sleep in to recover from the seder and all that walking. After a late breakfast we went to Piazza San Marco, after the crowds from the cruise ships and day trippers had already arrived. Despite that, it really is quite a site to see, complete with live music and lots of buildings being renovated. In a town that has history dating back to Christ’s time and most buildings more than 800 years old, it’s good that they are being maintained even if it means buidling-sized ads to help cover the costs. Next year you can look forward to the Toyota Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs.)

We are still working on our stash of Gouda from our Amsterdam days which served us well for lunch, as did the Amsterdam marketplace bread. We’ve now depleted our market supply and tomorrow we’ll dig into the organic Gouda from the cheese and clog farm we visited on our bike trip. We complemented the bread and cheese with fresh fruit from the market that is less than a block from our pensione.

The streets of Venice are incredible and quite the maze. Even with the map, it takes double and triple checking at times to figure out where we are. We had quite the adventure searching for the BNL bank that is affiliated with our Scotiabank. It is fun though to just turn some corner, cross another ponte and end up in some other square that could have a church, a theatre, or a few cafes. It is also fun to get away from the heavy tourist areas like Piazza San Marco, and end up in a big park at one end of town or the Academia at the opposite end of town. In addition to rewarding ourselves with the sites we stumbled across, and with gelato, we also feasted on gigantic meringues to get a nice sugar high to help us find the bank.

We topped off the amazing day with dinner at Taverna San Trovaso in the Academia part of town. Way too much food but we ate it all and it’s great to see that red wine is still cheaper than Coke. It’s 2 Euros per glass of wine vs 3 for the Coke…and even cheaper by the litro.

The funniest moment so far on the trip involved a gondalier. I was walking with Dena and Daniel as we heard a gondalier whistling “The Final Countdown” to serenade his passengers?! I said out loud, and obviously loud enough for the passing Gondalier to hear, “ah the great Italian song, The Final Countdown!” He quickly switched to singing some opera and I began to laugh uncontrollably at how I alterd my surrounding world.