We woke up to rain and arctic winds. Luckily, my sister brought umbrellas for us so we were prepared to visit Venice. She had asked me about the weather before arriving in Italy on Wednesday and I had told her it was warming up, but I had no idea that Venice would be this much colder than Florence. I assumed a little colder, but it was almost 70°F on Tuesday in Florence and in Venice we would've been happy if it was 50°F outside.
We suffered through the cold and let my niece stand in Piazza San Marco with all the pigeons. A few landed on Dave even though he had no food to offer them. We then walked through the maze of calli (narrow streets) toward the Rialto bridge and looked through the shop windows. Our eyes were attracted to the colorful masks and beautiful glass-blown objects in the vetrine (shop windows).
For the first time, we walked over the Rialto bridge (shown here) and into the San Polo area. The last two times Dave and I have been to Venice, we were so content in the Dorsoduro and San Marco areas that we didn't venture out that far. I prefer to stay in smaller areas and try to learn them as well as I can.
We made our way to Piazza San Polo and followed a few narrow calli, traversed a bridge, and arrived in front of a well-known Venetian restaurant where we made reservations the night before. We arrived in front of Osteria Da Fiore in Calle del Scaleter, which was the only place with lights on inside and out.
Our dinner was definitely the highlight of our day. The food--the best I've ever eaten in Venice--was divine. The only disappointing moment was when we couldn't eat another bite of food. We shared our dishes of molache (soft-shell crabs), anguilla grillata (grilled eel), fritto misto (deep-fried seafood), tagliata di tonno (rare tuna steak), and maltagliati con scampi e fiori di zucca (fresh, hand-cut pasta with shrimp and zucchine flowers).
Our favorite dessert was a sfoglia con crema e frutta fresca (puff-pastry with pastry cream and fresh fruit). It was delicious and large enough for us all to enjoy.
We walked back to the Rialto bridge because I wasn't sure I could navigate the other calli to get us back to Accademia. We hopped on the vaporetto (water bus) and paid for our tickets on board since the ticket booth was closed for the day.
After a few stops, the conductor came over to my niece and handed her a small chocolate egg. He told my niece that he had two left: he wanted to share one with her and was going to eat the other one himself. I translated for my niece and prompted her to say, "Grazie." As we got off of the vaporetto, I caught his eye and said, "Grazie di nuovo, signore. Buona serata!" (Thanks again, sir. Have a nice evening!)
When we got back to our rental apartment that we're all sharing, we were happy we left the heater on quite high so we could finally warm up. We wouldn't have changed one minute of our day in Venice, but we do hope for some sun tomorrow.
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