Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Venice: Most beautiful city

It was amazing arriving in Venice. Being an island, we had to take a water taxi from the train station to get to our Bed and Breakfast. I've never experienced anything like it. Turquoise waves rippled against the taxi as we gripped our suitcases glancing back at each other in anticipation. Ahh... finally! Here we are. The weather was hot with a cool breeze; sun shining bright and glistening on the water. There were lots of tourists snapping shots on bridges, eating gelato, and buying venetian items like masks and umbrellas. After getting settled, we headed down the narrow alleys to find a place for lunch...
The snail-shaped rolls (kinda dry, i would pass)

Trattoria Da Nino, a pleasantly darling restaurant. The man who sat us was very kind and welcoming. We imagined with the colorful hanging lamps it would be awesome to dine at night. I was surprised that there were a few vegetarian options. Most places have 1 or 2 choices. I ordered the pesto. It was more of an oily pesto rather than a basil-rich pesto. When I make pesto i use a lot of basil and use minimal oil. I can be pretty picky about food I guess. I enjoyed our dinner, the atmosphere, the staff. I felt very relaxed. It had a family-homey feel to it and yet was very classy. I would definitely recommend it. Most restaurants in Italy were very pushy and tried to get you to come to theirs by standing out front and treating you like they just want your money. Being a vegetarian in a very seafood-based culture, I had to stop by many places and view the menu. Most of the nicer restaurants had terrible customer service. They acted like they were happy to have us come by but weren't willing to accommodate us by making a calzone without meat, for one instance. So I really appreciated the places that would treat us well and made us feel happy to have us in their restaurant. Next, stopping for some famous Italian gelato! Best choice: Mocha
We walked around the most beautiful city, enjoying the slower pace compared to London and Paris. It was nice to not need any public transportation. No metros. No buses. Just our tired legs. That evening we stopped by a little place for dinner, on the corner near our b&b, to grab a vegetable sandwich and tiramisu. We sat outside and it began to barely drizzle and the gentleman working there opened the awning above us so we wouldn't get sprinkled on. How sweet! Our sandwich was delicious! 
Day two. We started our day off by getting manicures at this cute, easy-to-miss salon. We could hardly make conversation with the stylists because of the language barrier but they were very sweet. 
We picked up a slice of eggplant pizza and looked for a cozy spot to get away from all the crowds. Ah! Perfect, a dead end! We dangled our feet over the canal and ate. It's one of our favorite memories on our trip: discussing what God has been speaking to us and enjoying the beauty around us.
After a little shopping, it's time for a pick-me-up: Italian style (you order at the bar and drink your espresso standing there)! I wish I could do this more often. Italy by far has the best espresso!
How about a gondola ride right before evening hits? We got a free ride from our Eurail pass
Before arriving to Europe I researched about vegetarian/vegan food and found that most people said Venice has the worst food. Honestly we were very blessed we found two restaurants I would definitely be a regular at if I were a local. One was called Gam Gam Kosher Restaurant. It's located at the main entrance of the Jewish Ghetto. I had fresh grilled veggies and Jackie had veggies with couscous. The hummus was delicious!
Day Three. Lots of shopping. More carrot juice. and the best calzone of my life. 
I loved Venice at night. There was something about it. I miss it. In Paris I felt a little scared. But here it was so romantic and almost unreal. Walking over the bridges in silence. No street noise. No cars. May even see a gondola passing by on the dark moonlit waters.. On our last night we ate at our favorite place. Pizzeria Trattoria Al Vecio Canton. That night we were on a search for a vegetarian calzone. Looked everywhere. Finally we stumbled upon this amazing pizzeria! We walked in and the man who was probably the owner said, "Ah! Come in, come in! We're so happy to have you. Take a seat!" And he kindly pulled open a chair for me as he complimented my headband and said, "Hippy?" Haha. We didn't see a vegetarian calzone on the menu and asked if they would be able to and they said,"Of course, any kind you want!"
The kind chef, tosses the pizza dough up for a picture. Oh man, missed! But she got a great shot. 
Makes my mouth water. This baby is filled with fresh basil, garlic, and cheese. The atmosphere was very nice but comfortable and family friendly. Far from snooty! Clean and cozy. I loved it!! 

I hope you enjoyed this adventure I took you on. Next up: Rome!

Chef Teebs


tealeaver said...

this is a beautiful post chefteebs. your writing is so fun. i would read your book if you wrote one.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds amazing. Great stories, well written, and great pics.