Saturday, September 3, 2016

Day 12, Sept. 3, Venice

Today was special for sure.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We took a bus to Fusina and a boat to Venice.  I walked a short while with Sandi, Diane and Joanne and veered off to find the place where I had lunch before on the food tour.  It was a little like a magical mystery tour, TO MY SURPISE, I found it!  I had spaghetti ragu (meat sauce) and added mushrooms. It was the second best meal I had so far on the trip--the first one being when I ate there on the food tour--spaghetti with fish sauce and fish. I met the owner and chef and told him how much I loved his food.  Due Colonne restaurant Venice.
Then I headed out to see a modern art museum--I found that too--but it was closed.  Then I headed over to the meeting place, but I was very early so I walked through S. Marco square and out along the walkways along the open sea down to where the cruise ships dock and back again.  By then it was time to meet the group and go for our walking tour.
I wasn't much in the mood for a walking tour as I was hot and tired.  It was in the 90's all the time I've been here.  We didn't like the tour lady very much but it was still interesting.  It ended by the gondola boats, and we all went on them.  I was not especially interested to go but I'm very glad I did as it was restful, cooler, and strangely peaceful and a beautiful view from sea-level. The trip seemed long but it was 1/2 hour long and we went down several and out to the Grand Canal in somewhat of a circular pattern. 
We then walked fast after that to make it to the Zattere boat stop and made it in time to enjoy yet another gelato today (2) :)
All went well on the trip back. There was a very interesting camping place where the boat and the bus meet. It was clean, modern, well laid out, had a restaurant, bar, grocery store, etc. and cabins. 
What a surprise when we had spaghetti with meat sauce (again today) for supper. OK by me!
After dinner we had one of those funny situations where something is said and it's funny then everything after that only makes it funnier and about 10 of us were laughing tears of laughter--what a good time we had.
Owner and head chef--fantastic food!
Their lobsters look just like ours.

Ragu with mushrooms added.
Fish market at Rialto bridge. 
Gondola with Margaret, Sandi, Joanne and Diane. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Day 9, painting day

Another painting day.
After my walk, Margaret did a demo in the yard of the hotel, then everyone ate lunch, did a sketch of my subject--the entrance area of our hotel.  I was planning to go back to town because it is market day but went to the store of this farm instead and bought wine for my friend, Carol, and some delicious onion jam. Then it was time to do a quick painting since I had used up a considerable part of the day already, so I got out my supplies to see how they would work out.  These painting trips, especially that involve air travel, require minimum supplies to meet airline weight requirements.  It did work well, and I did a painting of the view of this place from the entry driveway. The composition was not the best, so I may try again another day or reference my photos later on.  I took a little nap and then there was a BBQ for dinner out in the garden with many kinds of meat and nice biscotti.
This was preceded by an art show of artworks of the proprietor's relative who was well-known upstairs in a large reception hall, and after dinner Arwed showed two videos of the history of Venice by Great Masters Videos. They are very good if you care to rent them at your local library.
For anyone interested, here is my "kit" for this trip:
1. An antique aluminum easel that is basically a tripod, not small but rather light.
2. 8 or 10 brushes, a pallet knife, a straw place mat to wrap them in, just enough pallet paper.
3. Small glass jar for turps. You can't fly with flammable liquids so Margaret supplies it when we get here. I can do without mediums because these are studies.  
4. Primary colors of oil paints plus white.
5. A few oil-primed canvas sheets (in the mailing tube) and one canvas board.
6. Masking tape to attach the canvas sheet to the board. 
7. A few sheets of wax paper to put between the canvases in case the painting doesn't dry. 
8. A mailing tube that houses the canvas, wax paper, brushes, paper towel sheets.
9.  A clear heavy duty plastic carry bag.

Our pool area.  Did I mention that the weather was consistently in the 90s the whole time we were here?

Day 11, a painting day, Sept. 2nd

A Painting Day.
Or the day after the power went off......we had candle light dinner followed by early to bed, then the power was restored around 11.  I woke up then and didn't get back to sleep until maybe 5 or 6.  So it was a late morning for me, I wrote in my blog, took a bike ride to some nearby farms for the view. At 3:30 we did a portrait session of the wife-owner of this place.  I wiped mine and started over, then the light shifted a lot and we stopped, so I didn't get very far.  I might work on it from the photo, we'll see. Everyone is talking about the trip tomorrow to Venice.  I looked up the restaurant where I ate with my food tour people, and I'll try to eat there.  We are also looking ahead (not) to the travel home day when we have to get up at 3:00 am.  At the end of this photo set, I mixed up some photos from Day 12, the day in Venice, sorry.
Delivering some food for our supper from the farm store on site.
Portrait subject.
Sign at our agritourisimo. 
Debarking--arriving in Venice with the group. My days are mixed up, this should be day 12.
Photos of some pizza.  Who says they don't make good pizza!

The fish market area in Venice near Rialto Bridge. (Day 12)

I found it!  The fantastic restaurant I discovered while on the food tour.
I ordered spaghetti ragu.  I asked for extra mushrooms.  The big thing you see is one of the mushrooms.  I added the grated cheese.  It was awesomely delicious.  Believe it or not, I was yearning for a tomato sauce!!!!
This is the owner.  He was great.  
I ordered wine.  I wasn't sure about how it was printed on the menu.  There were two prices.  There was not much difference in the two prices so I got the more expensive one.  Never thought it would be this big.  Didn't even finish it.  Oh ya, my friends won't believe this.
Waves were kicking up along the docks at S. Marco Sq.
How's this for high sytle???  Hi Wendell. :)

Now I know that the most beautiful photos you see of Venice are taken while at water level on a gondola.
Sandi Beitsinger, please remember to send me yours, please. please.!

This is one of the stalls at a nearby town market day.
Approaching the nearby town market day.  Thank you to Margaret and Arwed for the ride.
There was a smoker and some BBQ stalls.
More groceries for supper.  This was the first time this agritourisimo has had American guests
and this girl did an excellent job of learning some Englsh.

Day 10, Thursday, Sept. 1, Padova (Padua)

I was glad to visit Padua for my second time and especially the Scrovegni Chapel which has world-famous frescoes by Giotti.  Details of this chapel are at the end of this post.
We saw the famous coffee shop, Cafe Pedrocci, that is open 24hrs. since a hundred years ago, where people meet to discuss current events, also the very large open markets in several squares (plazas) as well as regular permanent shops that are interesting to see--in particular butcher shops. They have a very interesting method of collecting the trash.  
I visited the Duomo, a very large church that had unusual modern appointments on the main alter. 
We left Pedrova and stopped at the Basilica of Saint Anthony--it was huge, gorgeous and very impressive--one of my few favorite church visits in Italy.
Another short drive away we stopped for coffee and shopping at Monselice.  
The photo at the bottom of this sign shows the inside of the chapel.  A magnificent display of art by the artist Giotto.
Market day in Padua.
Gelato with chocolate sauce in the cone, gelato, whipped cream and cookie.
Large square sections of the street are lifted and bins come up where the trash is collected.
Market day.
Area near the market.
Very nice modern artwork in this church.
Modern art on the alter.
Power failure during dinner--we thought it was a romantic touch instead of a power failure.
Heading to the market area after seeing the Scrovegni Chapel.

Looking at the famous Cafe Pedrocci.

Basilica of Saint Anthony.

Our group heading back to the bus.
This large open expanse was once a chariot race area.
On our way into Monselice for our coffee break.
It was rather exciting as the cafe owner and a man who rode his bike over his foot had a loud confrontation.

Details about Scrovegni Chapel:
The son of Reginaldo, the usurer mentioned in the 17th canto of Dante's Inferno, built this chapel to improve his and his father's chances of getting into heaven.  :)  :)
He commissioned Giotto to decorate the chapel with frescoes which according to reliable information were done between 1303 and 1305, they cover the interior entirely--it has a darker clue at the highest point with nice stars and the blue gets lighter as it progresses downward.  There are panels separated by faux marble frames. If it only took 2 years to paint all of this, I gestimate that it took about 2 weeks for each part, not including the famous Last Judgement which covers the entire end wall and shows what it might be like if you go to hell.