european adventures: venice, italy

I had a lot of feelings about Venice.  I'll try to sum it up in one sentence: It's a beautiful, unique walking/boating city on an island that is overrun by tourists, thus making it feel devoid of local spirit.  At times that could be so disheartening, that not even Rick Steves could soothe us.  Despite our little tinges of disappointment, we managed to find a few safe havens away from the craziness (like sweet Burano).  Regardless, I'm grateful to have seen this bizarre, sinking city full of aggressive tourists and pigeons.
The place we stayed at near the train station (we took a bus over a long bridge to get to the island) was trying so hard to be an actual hotel, that it made it even more disappointing when they consistently came up short. Sounds harsh, but they were kind of a pain. They put us in an awful basement room that I tried my darnedest to stay optimistic about, but it had no window, was quite warm, had no working AC, the wifi didn't work, and the bathroom heater wouldn't turn off. In true Ted fashion, he sorted everything out and we were moved to a much better room--although it still had its own quirks and the wifi only worked in the hallway. Oh well! It could have been a lot worse. 

Galleria Academia showcases Venetian artists from the 14th-18th centuries.  It was definitely worth going to, but the Peggy Guggenheim Collection was what did it for me. An American woman with money to spare, Peggy started a collection of modern art and housed it all in her spacious home on the water in Venice. We saw some incredible contemporary art there, including Picasso, Dali, Calder (who made her custom earrings and a bedhead--what a life!), Pollock (a whole room!), Duchamp (her personal guide to modern art), and so many more. If I could choose one museum to acquire all of the art, I think I might go with Peggy's (although the National Gallery in London might beat it out). Thank you, London program (namely, Giovanni, our attractive art history professor) for instilling in me a deeper appreciation of art. I've always called myself an art lover, but now I feel more like an art needer. I now crave museum time, and can't wait to seek out more art in Portland and Phoenix. Excuse me while I get a little emotional about London (and sassy Giovanni's perfectly coiffed hair). 
Alfredo's Fresh Pasta To Go needs to live in my kitchen. We tried three different kinds of pasta--the Viagra, the Parmesan Prosciutto, and the Caprese over the course of two visits there. The Viagra was our favorite, so we split it both times. My second favorite was the Caprese  which was so light and lovely. Another highlight, on par with Alfredo's, which we also visited twice, was Antica Forno. PIZZAAAAAAAAA. We have had a lot of pizza in our lifetime and this place topped probably all of them. We still have Rome though, so we shall see if it can be outdone. 

Burano, known for its lace and seafood (NOT TO MENTION THEIR SUPER ADORABLE MULTI-COLORED BUILDINGS), also provided some tasty food. We tried some local cookies and were a little irresponsible and splurged on a nice seafood meal. It was definitely worth the experience. We tried some world-famous seafood and risotto, which were both lovely. I tried sea critters that I don't remember the name of. So that happened. 

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I love Ted interacting with those pigeons. Hehehe. VENICE! I can't believe I have been to Italy but never to Venice. What am I doing. Also, that pizza looks amazing.