Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Wednesday, July 4, 2007

2007-05-01 Venezia 001 After dinner in Florence at one of the "neighborhood trattorias" it was pretty much right to sleep. In the morning we unpacked and repacked (I took a little more this time as it was going to be a few days now) and we headed back to the train station after lunch.  We had lunch at a little place just up the road from the place we had dinner the night before called La Spada. It was a big wood-burning oven place and they had roasted... everything! We shared a first course of rigatoni-like noodles in a wild boar ragu. Man was that ever good... very meaty tasting. For seconds, Tina had roasted leg of lamb and I went for the roasted pork. The roasted pork looked like a big t-bone steak, but roasted pork, and it came with roasted potatoes... Finally, roasted potatoes! I ordered what I thought were roasted potatoes the night before with my veal scallopini, but when they arrived actually turned out to be french fries... 7000 miles across the ocean and I ordered french fries. They were good, but still, not what I was expecting :)

The potatoes were sooo good. crispy and herby on the outside and soft and squishy on the inside. The potatoes were kind of a light gold color, but I have no idea what they were called other than "potatoes". We also had a grilled veggies side which was eggplant that fell out of the garlic tree and hit every branch on the way down. Whoooo! Roasted red peppers and roasted zucchini rounded it out. Everything was fresh and everything was tasty. Everything we ate was probably grown and picked/slaughtered within 30 miles of where we were sitting. Maybe 50, since we were right in the heart of Florence.

There was an older couple sitting next to us (we sort of shared a four-top with them) and as soon as they sat down, the lady asked for the special oil. I wondered what that was, was it a code word? No, as it turned out, it was homemade fresh-pressed olive oil in a plain unmarked bottle. They offered some to us and wowaweewa it tasted wonderful! It was SO green it hardly looked like olive oil, but one whiff and you knew it was olive oil. I splashed a little on some bread to get a good taste of it, and then sprinkled a little on the roasted potatoes. Man... As we lingered over espresso we realized that we were going to miss our train to Venice, so we decided to order some profiteroles and a slice of fresh fruit tart and catch the next train. As good as the chocolate profiteroles were, we both agreed that the fruit tart, with the light custard and fresh strawberries, kiwi fruit, grapes and plums with a glaze over it was the better of the two.

obligatory self-portrait We then caught the next train to Venice, but we got off a stop early in Mestre as that's where our hotel was. We had to take a bus to the hotel, and I was surprised to find out it was actually a city bus! We waited about 20 minutes and then got on the bus to the hotel. 6 miles and another 25 minutes later we made it to the Hotel Altieri in Favaro Veneto. It was a cute little hotel, had an attached bathroom, clean, cool and when I flipped channels that night before bed, there was porn on the little 13" tv! Not Skinemax type soft-core nudity and fake thrusting, it was full-on hardcore porn! I got embarrassed and turned it off right away and climbed into bed! We freshened up a little bit and then caught the bus back into Venice to wander around and have some dinner.

2007-05-01 Venezia 020 We arrived in Venice at the bus station and walked over a bridge and started wandering around... in circles. We made two circles before finding our way into the middle of Venice. A walk of 15-20 minutes and we ended up in the Piazza San Marco. There were lines for all the restaurants and we were getting hungry, but not hungry enough to pay the huge premium for a table in the piazza. We started wandering back through the streets trying to find a pizzeria (sound familiar?) that we saw on our way in. Fortunately my amazing navigational skills allowed us to locate ourselves on the map and then make our way back to where we thought the pizzeria was. Unfortunately, we got there just after they closed! We made our way back to the bus station close to midnight and caught the bus back to the hotel and once again CRrRRAASHED!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 6:23:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Pictures | Travel#
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