One Week in Venice and Still Not Enough Time! - Septmember - Part 2

This week long trip to Venice went by way too fast. So much art, music, food and just Venice itself, yet so little time. Next trip will have to be for a month!

HOTEL NOTE: I mentioned in part one my love of apartment renting, but if this isn't your style, there are still some fantastic hotels in this charming neighborhood, like the Hotel Galleria and many others.

Santa Maria della Salute
The iconic Church in Venice that stands on the very tip of the Punta della Dogana is the Santa Maria della Salute (Our Lady of Health). It was built in 1681 in response to the devastating plague that hit Venice in 1630.

I wanted to pray for my own good health but slightly hesitated before entering the confessional (with good reason).

Every year Venice celebrates its Biennale. On even years their theme is architecture and on odd years like 2015, they recognize the newest and brightest stars in the art world. The traditional grounds located in Giardini Pubblici (the Public Gardens), have the old World's Fair feeling to them with pavilions from over 40 countries participating.

This is the 56th International Art Exhibition. There were some pretty odd exhibits.

Or take a look at Great Britian's exhibit. Yes, that is a cigarette. And there were many sculptures similar to this in their pavilion. I guess the theme is "blowing smoke out of one's ass?"

Dizzy Note! Be cautious - there were many "dizzying rooms". The floor, the walls and the ceiling were painted like this.

Or check out this cafe. I could only stay a short while.

But I loved Japan's contribution titled Key In The Hand.

Key In The Hand

Or check of France's art instillation. (Note: if viewing this in an email and you cannot see the following vid go to website and you will be able to see it.)

We were so startled when we first saw felt like we were on Candid Camera. But they also have "pop-up" exhibits all over the city, many of them with free admission.

Here I guess the artist wanted to celebrate Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

There was also the Glasstress Exhibit at the Palazzo Cavalli.

Glass marionettes
Surprisingly, this was also my first trip to Murano. It's quite a small island and most buildings are only two-stories high and of course they are famous for their beautiful glass making.

Tip! The least expensive way to get to this island is by the vaporetto (the water bus). They offer tickets that are good for one ride, there's a 24 hour card, a 48 hour, a 72 hour or a 7 day card. Venice is a walking town. So unless you are going to outlying islands, I'd skip the vaporetto all together. But if you want to head out to Murano, Burano, or Torcello, my suggestion is to get the 24 hour card. It's $20 and you can hop on and hop off of any vaporretti you wish. You can buy a card at machines (which can be a bit confusing) or from a teller at most of the water bus stops. Just make sure you place your card up to the entry signal and wait till you hear it beep before you enter the boat. You don't want to be caught without doing that, there's a fine. Pick one day when the weather's nice and do all of your island hopping and end up with a stunning nighttime ride down the Grand Canal. Or if you'd rather go on a guided tour check-out Viator's Half-Day Sightseeing Tours. For only $22.27 they'll take you to all three islands.

We darted in and out of stores and museums full of Murano glass. And then there was this stunning outdoor piece.

Color coordinated!
And for a little humor.

After a quick lunch we decided to head back to Venice and leave both Burano known for its beautiful pastel buildings and intricate handmade laces, and Torcello - the oldest and original settlement of Venetians in the lagoons populated with their flamingos, for another trip. Speaking of food, just one canal over from our apartment was Ristorante Terrazza del Casin dei Nobili. We enjoyed its waterfront location along the Zattere , the delicious food and great service so much, we went 3 times during our week-long trip.

Ristorante Terrazza del Casin dei Nobili

One night we ordered the mussels and clams...

And another the amazing fresh artichoke salad...

And one visit, just a simple but delicious pizza...

Another night we were excited to enjoy some Verdi, I mean he is Venice's hometown musical genius. So we went to the Chiesa (Church) San Vidal and enjoyed a stunning Verdi concert. I thought it was going to be good, but these musicians were fantastic. Truly awesome.

(Note: if viewing this in an email and you cannot see the following vid go to website and you will be able to see it.)

There were so many museums we explored this trip including the Gallerie Accademia and the Palazzo Fortuny.

Sofa-size painting at the Fortuny

I also revisited a restaurant that I had been to 3 years ago, Caffe Centrale.

Caffe Centrale
The first visit was wonderful and beautiful and it had such a modern feel within an ancient canal-side building. It felt hip and cool and the food was good. But going back this second time, was very surprising.

The restaurant felt more elegant, the service was on point but the waiters never felt like they were hovering, and the food was sublime.

Amazing assortment of breads

Beef Tenderloin
I had the beef tenderloin in Amarone wine sauce with potato pie and spinach. It was seriously melt in your mouth, I want three more orders of this, good! And my dining partner had the, similar - yes, but very different and just as delicious, chunks of tenderloin served over a potato mousse.

Chunks of tenderloin with potato mousse
I think this was the only time I ordered meat the entire trip. If I lived in Venice I would definitely be eating at Caffe Centrale at least once a week. And to end the post on a sweet note...

One afternoon while sipping a glass of wine on our terrace, I heard a gondola splashing by and faint accordion music playing. I leaned over and watched as a really cute couple actually got married "in" a gondola on our canal. Talk about romantic! When it was clear the ceremony was over and the officiant popped open a bottle of champagne, I leaned over the balcony, held up my glass to them  and shouted...

Complimenti e buona fortuna!

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