I haven't posted in so long! I've been reallly busy. Lots to tell and I'll be back to tell it soon. I've missed blogging and am going to get back on it and update more often. In the meantime, here are some pictures from a trip we took to Venice back at the beginning of February.
I've wanted to go to Venice for so long but somehow never made it. We decided we wanted to take a break from life's busy-ness in February and decided it would be the perfect time of year to go to Venice, less touristy. Which it definitely was; we had St Marks Square almost all to ourselves. But it was soooooo cooooooold.
I took this picture of the Santa Maria della Salute from a vaporetto. It looks sunny, but I was freezing to the bone. It was SO COLD. (We later went to a terrible Bach organ recital at the Santa Maria della Salute. Looking back, it was almost surreal, listening to terribly played Bach being tapped out with little consideration for rhythm or pace by the no doubt ancient head organist, whilst staring at a beautiful painting of the Madonna in a freezing church.)
These fur-clad Venetian ladies had the right idea. The Venetian winter look is sable coats and hats worn with shiny black leather boots. Lots of red lipstick.
Well, fur for the older ladies anyway. This girl stalked past, the picture of perfect elegance in her burgundy belted coat.
I loved the pale blue of the lagoon. It was so calming to always be near water; at night in bed you could imagine the water all around you, so relaxing. I kept having urges to swim in it, but it's the city's very own in-built sewage system. Although apparently Byron used to swim up and down the Grand Canal.
We visited lots of churches, all stuffed full of art; sinister dark paintings, byzantine Madonnas, incredible mosaics.
This was the ceiling in Florian, possibly the world's most expensive coffee shop. That tiny cappucino was €9, I think? Apparently this used to be a society brothel, with Casanova and his friends bawdying around upstairs.
I wish I'd brought some vintage Murano glass back home with me. Preferable a large chandelier of dangling raspberries, but these glass fruit would do.
It's such a funny city of winding backstreets. The main thoroughfares are obviously waterways, with the narrow streets off the canals just a complete tangle. You find yourself in a permanent state of being lost. We found our favourite restaurant down a really insalubrious looking alley. Ca'D'Oro, a proper Venetian osteria. I still think about the polpette, gamey meatballs coated in crispy breadcrumbs. Everyone kept re-ordering more polpette, including us.
We went to listen to some opera in an old crumbling palazzo. It was a great way to admire an original interior, really intimate. It was really special to hear the singers up close and unamplified – it felt as though we were taking part in an ancient Italian tradition. Although, guys, €50 per ticket, you could throw in a free glass of prosecco. We were GASPING. (Especially when one of the opera singers started waving a frosty fluteful around as she sang.) [More details at Musica a Palazzo.]
Venetian decor is fantastically overwrought. This was the bedroom ceiling in the palazzo where the opera was staged.
Me posing in our apartment, which was also all ornate plaster and tarnished mirrors.
One night we meant to go out but instead accidentally got stuck into a 1.5 litre bottle of wine we'd bought for €3.20 from a local shop that sold wine by the barrelful. It was REALLY nice. €3.20. I hate England, sometimes.
On our last day there carnevale started. The perfect time to leave. We availed ourselves of too many of the traditional carnevale cakes: fritelle, zabaglione filled puff pastries. I still feel sick when I think about them.
It was great to visit an empty Venice in the winter months. (It snowed! Really romantic.) But it was absolutely freezing. And I bet it would be lovely in the summer to sit outside in the sunshine, in a quiet piazza, drinking wine and watching passersby. Apparently it smells in the summer, though. And is unbearably busy. I don't know. I can't help you. I think winter might be best.