Saturday, September 14, 2013

Italy 2013 Day 13

Up early, another fantastic breakfast, paid the room bill which was a lot less then we remembered it would be, ($80 each per night). Got the water bus Laliguna to the airport, a really nice way to end our visit. I bought a bracelet at the airport for 17 Euro and previously purchased a very green olive oil and a cream balsamic so my entire expenditures for the trip came to 27 Euro. All went well at the airport, the baggage arriving with the rest of the painting group from el Brodo (Modigliani). Our planes were fine, one arriving early and the other late, got home close to midnight and talked my husband's ear off until 4:30 a.m.  When I  got up and weighed myself I had only gained 4 lbs.
Next year's trip is to Umbria and anyone wishing to join us, call me quickly as these spots go fast.  I'll gladly supply some details.

Venice Mask
Huge Murano Glass Chandelier in front of Stained Glass Window at Pasaro Palace (our hotel)
Breakfast room and afternoon cocktails
Breakfast food, crisp crust, cheesy whipped cream filling, sponge cake, yummy berries

Italy 2013 Day 12

Breakfast was amazing--truly 4 Star! I had scrambled eggs, the usual color, not orange like where we were previously, a wiener (excellent quality), a croissant, a slice of the best salami I ever ate, a piece of peach, and to top it off, the best cake thing you can imagine, made with a filling of whipped cream and ricotta cheese with sponge cake.
So we figured that since its Tuesday that the museums would be open, the Academia was but the Guggenheim wasn't. The daVinci Exhibition was at the Academia and I'll get a book or two of it on-line when I get home.  We walked around for a while then headed to the islands of Burano and Torcello. We had to try several water bus stops to find the right one and then change from one to another during the trip. Burano is the lace island with the colorful houses and Torcello has an old 6th century church with many restorations of their massive mosaics. As with anywhere in Venice we had to walk a long ways.  They were charging 1.50 Euro to use the facilities so we figured we'd use the one on the boat. Along the walkway there were a few very elegant dining places and otherwise there wasn't anything. I checked out the menu at the first one and a glass of wine was 2 Euro so we figured that we'd get one and use their facilities. When we reached St. Marco again we went to the top of the Hotel Danielli as we had promised a friend that we would. A drink there was slightly cheaper than at Harry's Bar (we didn't have one at Harry's). I had a Frangelico, as it is an Italian liquor, and it came with a side of hazelnuts.  It is a great combination.  $50 American dollars for 2 drinks.  While descending to the main floor, the elevator stopped at the 3rd. floor, and WOW, to my surprise, it was Boston's Gardener Museum!  I immediately identified the resemblance. 
Going back to our hotel, we were turned around several times and figured that it took probably 4 miles to walk the 2 miles.  We tried to visit the Fra Church, but it was closed. 
Reaching our hotel we wanted to eat nearby and checked out all the nice places. The one we wanted to eat at was crowded with locals with reservations and we could go back an hour later but the host at our hotel gave us another suggestion, so we dined elsewhere having ample wine and great food. 
We can't believe how lucky we were and how wonderful everything was on this whole trip.
San Marco
San Marco mosaic
We had pizza and wine here (near Harry's Bar)
One of the dueling orchestras at dusk
Corner of Doges Palace at dusk, I loved the sky peeking through
Grand Canal, all roads lead to Pont d'Rialto (not) we got lost getting to it every time.
Close-up of huge mural at the Accademia
Another gorgeous huge painting at Accademia, How did they ever remove this from the source?
This little guy was a very popular photo op.
After finding out the the Guggenheim was closed, we planned to go to Burano.
The only McDonald's we saw in Venice was on this busy street near our hotel.

Italy 2013 Day 11

Driving to Venice in a smaller bus, we arrived around 11 and made our way to our hotel, Hotel Pesaro Palace,, by vaperetto.  We had no problem getting there and the stop is exactly at the front door. We were kidding a couple of days ago about the picture on the website being our room, and alas it was! It was like a suite with our own outside sitting area, lots of Murano chandeliers, a gorgeous bathroom, and beautiful bedroom, gorgeous drapes, lots of windows, big mirrored closet with safe, TV, WIFI, refrigerator, minibar that wasn't very mini, tray ceiling, coco brown cloth padded walls, and you think I'm carrying on, I could go on a lot longer! It is a 4 Star Hotel right on the grand canal.
After checking in we went to St. Mark's Square in the day and later at dusk, we went to Harry's Bar to meet friends who weren't there, then ate nearby, had a carafe of wine, a delicious pizza, then ordered pork medallions with mushrooms. We took the early evening water bus to see the palatzos with their lights, chandeliers, muraled ceilings, etc.  After breakfast, we plan to hit the Academia and the Guggenheim.
Beautiful many-tiered Mural chandelier with stained glass in background
Sitting area near our hotel room.
Our bathroom
The hall inside our room
The bedroom section of our suite
Our private sitting area
Our bed
Lobby entrance to right and to Grand Canal on left, nice bonsai on pedestal table.
Entrance walkway to lobby and outside sitting area.
Outside sitting area and Grand Canal.

Beautiful Burano!

What a coincidence, I was in Burano 5 days ago! I'm taking a workshop with Dreama in a couple of weeks here in Massachusetts.

This video by Dreama Tolle Perry came into my inbox when I got home, and coincidently, she was in Venice at the same time I was and visited Burano (the island with the colorful houses) about five days after I was there.  This video will give you a good idea of what Burano is like.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Italy 2013 Day 10

Today was a bus trip to Faenza to visit the most amazing and huge ceramic museum. It has an immense collection of ceramics from everywhere and every period of history. The building itself was huge and very well constructed or renovated for this purpose. In the afternoon Carol and I dined at a restaurant suggested by the manager of our hotel and we had great food and enjoyed our Sunday Dinner. Many others in our group found great restaurants and all enjoyed their meals and the places where they ate.   Returning back to our hotel those of us going on to Venice packed and talked with the owner of this hotel about getting there, getting around there, and getting to the airport when we are heading home.  Carol and I located our hotel on the map and were able to bring
Approach to ceramic museum
it up on my iPad which is, sometimes, not an easy task.  At the last supper here at our hotel we all enjoyed special foods arranged by the hotel and Margaret spoke and handed out course certificates,  Arwed spoke, the owner spoke.  Everyone loved the workshop and tours and hotel. Gail Rose is cooking French Toast at 7:15 a.m  tomorrow and the bus leaves at 8.  Our luggage will be on the bus at Venice airport on Wednesday at 11:00. We tipped everyone and we are ready for our Venice experience. 
The following are some of the ceramics displayed in this enormous museum
These beautiful platters were painted 100 years ago or more, the artistry is amazing.
Newer work at the museum's modern section.
Restaurant dello Sport, a restaurant recommended by our hotel host at Modigliana, located near ceramic museum.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Italy 2013 Day 9

Arrived in Bologna around 10:30. The walking tour guide, a very nice Swedish guy who spoke English well, was on hand for our excursion.  He was an expert on this city and its history both politically and architecturally but we had "whisper ears" with ear plugs and there was difficulty with them, lots of static and he went too deeply into the details for my taste since we wanted to cover a lot of ground and this tour was moving too slowly so we left after about 1 hour.  We walked to the national art museum at the oldest university in Europe, the outdoor markets, the main streets with all those fabulous porticoes, the side streets and alleys with ancient buildings at every turn.  People-watching here could be the best in Italy.  Local shops with great meats, cheeses, oils, vinegars, pastas--everyone liked this city.  Left at 4:30, buffet supper, my favorite so far.  Tomorrow to Firenza to the ceramic museum.

Wonderful porticos, great colors everywhere, crazy interesting architecture.
Quaint place near the oldest University in Europe where we had a beverage.
Check the wall color.
Breads at the market.
Deli, oh to have this market near me!
Carol at yet another wine stop, near the main square, good people watching.
The shopper.