Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 1027 : Getting a little lost

Sunday was spent viewing as much as I could of the Venice Biennale -- in the Arsenale, Giardini, surrounding national pavilions, concurrent projects and more. Thankfully to access the Biennale from my hotel on the other side of Venice, I was able to follow the signs to Piazza San Marco and make my way from there, sure I could have taken a vaperetto but what fun would that had been? I needed to experience the maze of streets and see Venice on foot and navigating between spaces was easy - just follow the big red columns indicating the Biennale.

Ok, but getting back towards my hotel and having some cheese and wine at a wine bar recommended to me was a whole different ball game. Cell service was not surprisingly quite spotty in this centuries old city of winding alleys and canals. Even if cell service had functioned, forget my best navigational traveling friend, Google maps, it pretty much told you to turn left once in a while, no street names here, without a real sense as to where you were versus where you were going. It was a return to the feeling of an era of less technology where requesting directions and paper maps were the way of getting around. However after having to stop a series of different people who each pointed me in a different direction, it was no surprise I got somewhat lost but I think that is some of the magic of Venice. Feeling surrounded by a sense of history and a return to simpler times, you just have to give yourself over to the beauty of this city on the water.

Finally I found the wine bar recommended to me and sat down to a seat in the sun to watch the people go by. There is something inherently peaceful about sitting and watching passersby, taking a momentary pause from the hussle and bustle of daily life. Glass of local red wine on hand, I ordered some aged Parmesan that was served with local aged balsamic vinegar. Perfection. Salty, tangy and nutty yet robust, rustic and sweet. Such a simple pairing but one that I will have to enjoy more of at home. I also had to try the local Gorgonzola - this sure wasn't the same cheese you had in the US or even France. You really could taste the difference in the lessening of the commute from production to plate and boy what a change!

Moving on from my little stop, I manged to make it back to my hotel and off I went back to Paris, like a twenty-four hour dream of Venice.

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