Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hot Summer Review

Hot and Muggy, that is what we are experiencing right now here outside of Venice.  Venice, with all that water will be worse.  What I need right now is a nice cold frappe’, and a nice rain shower after.

Monselice Castle
Here’s a shot of our American cowboy burger restaurant, if you look behind it, you will see a castle on top of the hill above Monselice, a small town south of Padova.  You can see the grass is brown from lack of water.  Another lack of, is the ketchup we asked for.  
Cheap Burger Joint!
We both had fries and they brought us three packs of ketchup.  This was after I asked for molto ketchup…..a lot.  Served for a laugh from us.  They charge for each package, learning from McDonalds on this.

Open on Weekends
Another castle near Monselice and viewable from our home is this one.  Built much later by a man who was famous as a soldier for hire.  Behind this castle is the ruined building where they stored tobacco from their farm and made cigars, etc.  This is a paintable castle as it is in pretty good shape and set near a canal with a bridge.

There is another smaller castle west of our home which is famous for its land being an airport for planes in WWI and WWII.  There is a museum in side and a fancy restaurant with high prices.  We have never eaten there, so I cannot testify to the food.  I notice that they host a lot of wedding dinners, etc.  Sounds like we are surrounded by castles, which is kind of true.  We also have a famous house in the hills where the famous poet Petrarch lived.  I like going up there because of the super enoteca featuring some awesome wines grown from the volcanic soil of the  hills.  They have a terrace overlooking the valley below and Padova beyond, and we can sit and have an appetizer of local salami, cheeses and bread with our vino.

Soon we will drive to Austria for a few days and the temperature will drop from near 100 to mid 60’s.  That will be so nice.  Plus we are going to a beer hotel where they make many types of beer.  Austria is so different from Italy, it feels like a theme park to me, so clean and kept perfect.  

Add caption
For my web cam friends, this is one that features the view across the big canal towards the church where you can go up in the elevator for a terrific view of all the islands of Venice.  Today the color of the sky is a yellow green from the humidity, I hope the rain will clear it later.  Go view:


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bird's Eye View Of Venice

Several people have asked me questions about visiting Venice, Rome and parts of Italy.  I am always glad to help them my bird’s eye view of Venice with advice on what to see, and what not to see.  Most folks have a limited stay, so that is important.  

Just this week, a dear cousin has asked me to help her friend at work who has planned a trip to Venice and Rome.  These will be the first webcams to get her feet on the ground.  There are many webcams which give people a good idea of what they will experience.  My plan is to start of with these with a small explanation.  Bookmark them and view them daily.

What I have found is that many people have no clue about the islands of Venice with the big canals and the many small ones.  They think it is one big gondola ride in  a small canal, but there is a lot more.  Take a look at the big canal just off St. Mark’s Square.  BTW, if you are making a trip here, it is fun to bookmark these and watch while you have breakfast.   Viewing this from the states, your breakfast will be mid afternoon for Venetians.  

That  big canal has several views, here is from another direction.
from other direction

Just across St. Mark’s is San Giorgio, which has a tall steeple which has an elevator to the top, with a great view of all the islands of Venice.  You see the island here.

Riding a gondola is not cheap, I recommend  sharing the ride  with others in order to cut down the cost.  80 Euros for one half hour is one big splurge for me.  However, when the gondolier takes you into a hidden tiny canal, you will experience a feeling of unexpected peace.  This webcam even has audio!

Men in Black

.   If you are lucky you will come upon a celebration by a club, a festival, or a type of garage sales (no garages in Venice, but they have neighborhood sales).  I stumbled onto this group of men, dressed in black, singing  their club's song to a piazza filled with onlookers.  This shot became a study for a painting recently completed.

Sturdy Shoes Needed, NOT THONGS

You will do plenty of walking in Venice.  It is not just waterways, but you will find sidewalks, and bridges.   You will have sore feet at the end of the day.  Kind of spooky at night, but safe.

Trash Boats Near The Big Market
Venice has the spirit of an artist, and even their trash boats are painted a pleasing green.  Hauling trash, providing fire protection service, police service and delivering goods are all things they do well to keep citizens happy.

Here is something I would skip, especially since I have been spoiled to go to a beach, plant my own umbrella, set up my cooler and pay no fee.  In Italy there are few places to do that, instead you rent a chair, and have drinks brought to your umbrella stand for a fee.  This webcam  is from Jesolo, a beach where people of the Veneto go to get cool from the heat of summer.  The Veneto is a province in which Venice lies.

Worth a Visit
I want to mention on island of Venice, called Burano.  Famous for the pastel painted houses, it is historically a fishermen island.  If you have time you don't  want to miss this beautiful place.   To get there you must take a boat and you might want to choose a restaurant here for lunch.  This excursion takes several hours, so plan accordingly.

Breakfast with a webcam is something I enjoy and I hope it gives you a better appreciation of Venice.  My next blog will feature foods of Venice. (Not spaghetti and meatballs!)