Soggy Sunday

Sunday was grey and drizzly after overnight rain and wind. In front of our apartment we met a very lost sweet couple fromTaiwan, looking for where to get a gondola. We walked them over to the gondola dock near Ca d’Oro. We had been meaning to go see the Biennial installation there, so went in.

The ground floor with its stunning marble inlay flooring was flooding and unfortunately we were quickly kicked out before we could get the chance to fully appreciate the interesting lamp sculptures there.

Upstairs, the contemporary pieces were scattered about among the art collection, which made for interesting contrasts. We enjoyed it, as well as just being in such a wonderful late gothic Palazzo.

The weather was improving, so we wandered over to the bar in Campo Santi Apostoli for coffee and to share a cornetto while we people watched.

We followed a walk through the area from my Blue Guide, finding familiar sites like the beautiful Palazzo Van Axel that hosted a Biennale show last time; and places new to us like this gorgeous old archway. Probably 12th century, the carvings are worn but still good in the more protected areas. This little Campo carries the name Corte seconda del Milion, one of Marco Polo’s nicknames as he was thought to exaggerate his tale of travel in the east.

And this sobering reminder of later history.

Another hidden delight was late 15th century Chiesa San Giovanni Crisostomo. Dim inside with some lovely features including a Bellini.

And going through a dark sottoportego to find this remaining gothic staircase on Ca Lion in a tiny Campo with wellhead on the Canal.

A pre lunch drink at the Secret Bar, then we walked down for our lunch reservation at old favorite Vini da Gigio. It was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday lunch, but by now the rain was cominG down hard and sensible people were staying home.

We began by sharing their Venetian seafood platter, the best version I’d had on this trip. With razor clams, yum. Then a dish which turned out to be a weak spot, gnocchi with truffles. Very large gnocchi with a lot of cheese, just too heavy a dish for me. But the nice glasses of wine helped. We then split Osso bucco, a very good rendition of tender veal with vegetables, with a side dish of sautéed spinach. Too full for dessert, or even one of their wonderful grappas. Next time.

A bit more wandering through the fondamentas of western Cannaregio, then home to read and relax.

We had Jan and Ken, and their friends Donna and Andy over for a light dinner of salami, salads, and wine. We crowded around our little table, and enjoyed conversation. Nice end to a relaxing day.

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