Soft Landing

Easy flights, and we even slept for an hour. It was interesting how empty the flight from Chicago to Venice was, with many rows of three seats only occupied by one person. (And why Chicago? This is what can happen when you book flights through Philly using a bump voucher a year in advance, the schedule changes, and you get the choice of three hours in Chicago or six in JFK)

On the Alilaguna boat were a large family group from the South, spending a week doing the 2 nights Venice, 2 Florence, 2 Rome thing. I wish them luck in their tour of train stations. My first trips to Europe in my 20’s were like that, and the memories are a blur.

We met the apartment owners daughter at what I’ve called in previous trips “cranky fruit and vegetable guy stand.” The apartment is spacious, functional and clean. A bit short in aesthetics and cookware, but for $110 a night it will do nicely. Kicking myself for not putting a good knife into the checked bag, and I’ll need to find a baking sheet somewhere. If you lean out the window with a chiropractor in attendance, you have a view of the rio below. The same Cannaregio neighborhood we’ve stayed before, good shops and restaurants, easy to walk or vap anywhere. There is a school across the street, so lots of exuberant voices at times. I think we’ll be happy here.

Grabbed a table at the reliable Trattoria Storica for a late lunch while local guys knock back grappa with the owner. First spaghetti Vongele of the trip, yum. So nice to eat outside again! Larry is in a t shirt, the Italians in puffy coats and scarves.

Then we did some minor food shopping (cranky vegetable guy less cranky this year; maybe he got lucky) and unpacked. The apartment has tons of storage, although once again the rod for hanging clothes is way above my head. Met up with Nan at the bar at Algiobagio for aperitivi and handing off some US shopping. No photo, too busy yakking. Very pretty light on the Lagoon.

We walked around the neighborhood, just enjoying the first day in Europe fog. Things were fairly quiet in this corner of Cannaregio, fingers crossed that the crowds are less this time of year. The weather is perfect, upper 60’s this week but will get cooler next week. No rain in sight. But the forecasts here change hourly, so who knows.

Oh, here’s the bridge where my knee went “pop” two years ago. Larry reminds me constantly to not rush on stairs.


We were starting to fade and not terribly hungry, so walked over to Bar Sbarlefo for a few chichetti to share and a lovely glass of Amarone. Then we split a cone of gelato from Ca D’Oro, pistachio and chocolate. Said hi to the Canal, and home to bed.

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