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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Out on our anniversary and more

Wednesday was our first anniversary, and we woke up late.  From recent SlowTrav discussions, we'd decided that we'd like to go to Burano for lunch at the Gatto Nero.  This was the result of recent mentions on SlowTrav, where it was also made clear that we needed to reserve.  I was worried because when I went to their Web site on arrival, the first date for online reservations was Thursday, there was no answer on their closing day Monday, but on Tuesday I made a reservation by phone without a problem.

On Wednesday, we went to the Guglie stop to take one vaporetto to Fondamenta Nove, where we caught the other line to Burano.  It was a long ride, and we got to Gatto Nero just past our reserved time of 1.  We sat outside, even with a slight chill, and Margaret was impressed when they brought us prosecco, thinking they were marking our anniversary, but in fact they were bringing it even to people who were looking at the menu, although it may have been established that they were waiting to be seated.  The restaurant had a sign up that they were full for the day, but they could still get people in with a wait.  We shared a risotto, Margaret had sole, and I had grilled scampi.  They comped us our dessert and coffee.  It was a great way to celebrate a year of marriage, an I can't completely  come to an understanding of it, but it's a wonderful thing.  We just had a little time to walk around Burano with its multiple colors and great shops, before we made our way home.  

On Thursday, we had a booking for the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace.  With it starting at 9.55, I figured that, after a quick online check at 9 we could get to the vaporetto.  Well, a few things went wrong:  the S. Marcuola stop closing, meaning we needed to go to to Ca' D'Oro, where we got just as  a run of our line was leaving.  I also hadn't looked at the schedules:  even if they wouldn't be followed exactly, I would know how long the run to S. Marco would take.  When we boarded the next one, there were so many stops and we got in late.  We asked at the palace ticket office about getting in, even rebooking with a later tour; they said it waan't possible, but then a guard led us to join the tour in progress, much appreciated, in being taken through the small rooms with interesting stories.  

Margaret wasn't feeling the best, and asked to leave before joining the regular palace visit.  I made a pretty quick visit of the grandiose rooms with great artwork, and the crossing of the Bridge of Sighs, before exiting and having trouble finding her, before I eventually did.  We then had a look at the Museo Correr, with a lunch at their cafe overlooking the Piazza, before Margaret was ready to go home.

After a rest, we had an afternoon walk including the Jewish Ghetto, very interesting.  Our dinner (reserved) was at Da Alberto, another of Shannon's top recommendations.  It was a popular place with excellent pasta and fish options:  I followed Shannon's advice to favor the specials.

We've been so busy that I haven't been blogging in detail, and it's hard to put final thoughts together about Venice as we leave:  it is a special city, with tourist crowds, but I saw much of it as a living city and a great place.

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