Bella Venezia – Le attività

Beautiful Venice – The Activities

We went to Venice for a long weekend in November. We actually decided around 2pm on Wednesday, made a call, reserved a room, and hit the road in the car. We arrived in Venice just in time to drop our stuff off in the hotel, change into dinner clothes, and go out for our first local specialty, Risotto con nero di seppia – Risotto with black ink. I know, sounds weird. Check it out, it looks weirder:

Risotto con Nero di Seppia

It’s not just dark … it’s definitely black. And *delicious*. It doesn’t taste at all like it looks – it’s just cheesy seafoody deliciousness.

The next two days, we spent time ticking the basics off the list.

St. Mark's and the Doge's Palace

Anonymous Tips at the Doge's Palace

In ancient Venice, you could provide an anonymous  tip or accusation by writing it on a piece of paper and slipping it through the mouth in the wall. The tips went directly into their house of government and would be investigated and, when appropriate, trials would occurr and people would be prosecuted. Speaking of jails, downstairs was the jail – if you were found guilty, you never left the building – you were marched over the bridge of sighs directly down to the dungeons.

Dungeons at the Doge's

Ryan copping a feel

After crossing the Doge’s Palace and St. Marks (Piazza di San Marco, San Marco Cathedral) off our list, we also went to the Galleria dell Accademia – which has mostly religious art. And took the ‘subway’ of venice (Ferry boats, to the rest of us) to the island of Murano – home of Murano glass.

Classic Venice

And we spent a fair amount of time just wandering around and getting to know this unique city.

Where the Venetians live ... with their speedboats

Thursday night dinner was lots of fresh seafood – some of which we had never seen before, some of which we couldn’t figure out how to eat … all the rest was really good.

St. Mark's tower, from across the river

Inside Santa Maria Della Salute

Glass sculpture and tower on Murano

One of the last things we did was ride the ferry boat down the Grand Canal, just to enjoy the view …

Ryan in the breeze on the boat

Overall, we had a really nice time – just bumming around the city. We did a little shopping – I bought a glass necklace, and both of us bought masks. I bought a little, cute girly one, but Ryan’s is really cool – it came from the same shop that made the masks for ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. Traditionally the masks were very big around Carnevale, when the people would attend masked costume balls, and the masks gave them anonymity and hence the freedom to participate in all kinds of normally taboo debauchery.

Kate's Mask

Ryan's Mask

Coming up next … scenic views of Venice.

And next week we’re going back to Venice … for Carnevale.


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Filed under Italy, Travel, Venice

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