Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Veni, Vidi, Vici -- Venice

So. Though I adore Bellagio and Lake Como, too much time spent there as a single gal can get stifling. So you'd think that while feeling hyper-aware of my single status, Venice would be a particularly poor choice to recover. Wrong! There are many happy couples strolling the alleys and riding through the canals in Venice. But there's also a whole lot more potential to, uh, exploit one of the primary advantages of not being a couple. In case you don't get the picture, here's the picture.

Venice (and this particular gondolier) loved American Cool (and me). And I loved them right back.

But let's step back for just a second to give you a better view of the city. Here's my book enjoying a sunny day, entering the city on a water taxi.

Baroque, Byzantine, and Gothic are most definitely the words for Venice. Not only for the nearly outlandish island/canal structure of the city, but also the architecture of the buildings. Truly, it's breathtaking at first sight.

For most people, the main landmark in Venice is St. Mark's Square. Me? Harry's Bar. Possibly best known as a virtual home for Hemingway, Harry's Bar is a Venice landmark and inventor of the delicious Bellini. (That's prosecco and peach puree.) However, it should also be stated that Harry's Bar is now primarily a tourist destination, which means you can expect to pay about 15 euro for a Bellini. And if you want to eat? Be prepared to pay more than you'd pay for a pair of designer sunglasses, and my book can tell you how steep that can be. And you will be tested in Venice if you have a weakness for shopping, as the main walkway to St. Mark's Square (and also Harry's) is crowded with ALL the Italian designer stores. But one Bellini, though pricey, isn't a bank breaker, and you can say you've been to Harry's.

And you will most certainly enjoy the surreal sights of Venice with a Bellini buzz going.

And how cool are Venetians? Cool enough to show off my book!

Book enjoying a view of the Grand Canal, a vaporetto, and across the canal, the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute.

As a notoriously bad picture taker, I'm considerably smitten with these next two shots, taken at sunset while riding the vaporetto.

Venice also hosts the world's oldest casino. I could only get a picture of the outside, because they're pretty strict with the security inside. It's a fancy affair, but also pretty small. But you get a free drink.

After the excitement of the casino and Piazza San Marco, my book decided to relax at night, not with a Bellini, but vodka.

After the success of the sunset pictures, a casino visit, and a couple vodkas, my book and I were inspired to try for some sparkly nighttime photography. The results were much less successful.

Much, much less successful.

Though this picture is a typical DiPlacido disaster, it does adequately capture the elements that would bring my melancholy about being single back to the surface. The vodkas, the full moon, the romantic setting. The scene left my book and me longing for some company.

Luckily, we knew where to find it. La bella luna! Vidi, Vici, Veni, indeed, in Venezia!

From Venice we (my book and I, not the gondolier) moved south to the Amalfi coast: Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi -- the setting for The Talented Mr. Ripley and home of the world's best Limoncello.


Cam said...

Nice pictures! I get what you mean about the two sunset pictures, I've been to Venice and it really is beautiful and there's only so much my crappy point and shoot camera could capture.

Donna said...

Whoah, what a book tour! Is the gondolier reading "Found in Translation"?

Those sunset pictures are lovely, lovely, lovely--Venice showing her best profile. But to be honest, I like the Christmas tree sparkle of the night shots, too.

Any restaurants to recommend?

SusanD said...

Cam -- exactly. There's a swell of satisfaction when a picture actually looks like it should.

Donna -- he didn't read a lick of English, which probably greatly increased his enjoyment of the book;)

Try Vino Vino for a laid-back, homey kind of meal.