Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Venice Day 1 (30 Dec 08): Freezing In A Pretty Place

We reluctantly left Rome this morning and boarded an early train to northern Italy. The route to Venice was mostly mountainous:

The snow on the mountains should have alerted us to the weather to come.

 Our hotel in Venice, which we liked a lot, was Il Sole, situated in the middle of the Santa Croce District and conveniently near the train station:

It was freezing in Venice when we arrived. The city is too pretty not to brave the weather though, and we busted out our extra duty winter wear to insulate us from the winds blowing in from the Adriatic Sea.

It was too cold (and too expensive!) to take a gondola ride, so we took the covered public vaporetto instead down the Grand Canal. Venice was really meant to be seen from the water. It has rustic, charming, picture perfect views, yet shockingly looks very fragile.

Venetian food is all about seafood, and taking a break from meat, L and I had dinner at a wonderful restaurant recommended by foodies called Al Covo:

 L and I had a seafood antipasti platter:

a crayfish platter:

Potato Gnocchi with baby octopus and clams:

And for dessert, a Cheese plate:

The folks of the restaurant were very generous to us as well (they were probably impressed with our appetites!) – they gave us this chocolate cake on the house, which looked very simple, but ta-da!, the chocolate sauce was mixed with red peppercorns, which transformed the chocolate cake into special chocolate cake:

To drink L and I had a Soave for the main meals, and a dessert wine, the Antinori Muffato della Sala, to have with the cheese.

After the meal L and I got lost in the intricate streets of Venice, and it took us an hour instead of 20 minutes to get back to our hotel. It was a nice walk and it was warmer for some strange reason towards midnight than earlier that day.

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