Sunday morning we were scheduled to go on a walking tour with David Lown, an art historian living in Venice who I “met” through SlowTrav. The online weather forecast called for overcast skies during the morning, with thunderstorms starting in the afternoon. The streets were deserted as a drizzle started. As we boarded the vaporetto at P. Roma, I wondered if the weathercasters had looked out the window–there were big fat drops falling, and the wind was picking up. Those drops rapidly escalated into a rollicking thunderstorm that tossed the vap around and made docking interesting. By the time we ran under the cover at the Palazzo Ducale, most people were completely drenched, including the unfortunate bride who was hoping for photos in San Marco. We were thankful for our raincoats–so many people obviously hadn’t brought anything, and were doing the best they could with thin plastic ponchos given out by the cruise ships, and even trash bags. It looked like a Hefty commercial, and don’t get me started on people wielding both umbrellas and selfie sticks in narrow streets.
We met up with David, and mutually agreed that a bit of rain is one thing, this thunderstorm was quite another, and rescheduled for Tuesday morning. As we were already at the Palazzo which no one seemed to be entering and our museum passes covered it, we figured why not spend the morning there. We had visited and done the Secret Itineraries tour during our long-ago trip, so it felt fresh.
We managed to time things so we entered rooms just as the few tour groups were leaving, and enjoyed wandering, reading through the Blue Guide on my phone, and marveling at the opulence and the artworks that proclaimed the wealth of Venice’s own 1%.
By 11:30 the rain was stopping, and glimpses of sun emerging. We wandered a bit, discussing what to do with the afternoon. As we walked, we saw one of the cruise ships beginning its entry into Venice. Not even one of the huge ones, it was still jarring.
Ended up wandering across the Accademmia bridge and into Dorsoduro, visiting the gastronomica in Campo San Barbara for some salumi, winding up sitting for a long time at a table outside Café Fontago with a pitcher of wine and a plate of chichetti. Just watching people go by, drinking and eating tasty fishy bites. I glimpsed possibly the most beautiful young man ever, standing shirtless in the window above the café. Seriously, he should be one of the sights of Venice. No photo, sorry.
The sky was darkening as another storm rolled in, so we spent the rest of the afternoon in the apartment, napping, reading, and eventually throwing together dinner. (pasta with zucchini and tomatoes; and sauteed eggplant) Relaxing after the busy past few days.