How can it be our final day in Venice? Needing to “stay present in the present” we wrote out a schedule of our final “must do” activities.
I set out by myself, which I always enjoy doing at least once, to find the Fanny gloves shop which I missed last time. Passing the only traffic light in Venice on a nearly deserted vaporetto, I alighted at San Tomà and walked directly there with not one wrong turn!
Two pairs of lovely Italian leather gloves will find their way to Creekside lane, one for winter wear and one for driving Rosina. After all, doesn’t an Italian car need Italian driving gloves!!??
I was to meet Don at Accademia, and I can assure you that I took MANY wrong turns finding my way there, but in Venice you always come out somewhere you know and then can wind your way around.
Our plan called for an early light lunch at Schiavi, now open after a three—week vacation.
And since it was early and not many people there, I chatted a bit with the owners, telling them that I had previously purchased the “cicchetario ” recipe book, and made cicchetti for our book club when we Skyped with Marie Nardin, author of Beneath the Lion’s Wings.
Next agenda item was a long vaporetto ride down to Giardini to see more of the Biennale. Really, the gardens in Venice are such a welcome and surprising element in a city which I always think of as having one grand museum and palazzo after another.
The entrance was other-worldly. . .
I LOVED the Biennale exhibits here. Whether it was the openness, the lighting or the colors, they seemed alive and friendly to me.
The exhibits were fanciful and fun. . .
Three Lithuanian children (with the artist) created this exhibit from non-radioactive bricks when, as a result of Chernobyl, nuclear plants in Lithuania had to be shut down as a condition of their entrance into the EU. I think I have that correct!
There was so much more but honestly, we became aware that in a few short hours we would be starting a week of 6 tango lessons and 7 nightly milongas. Our legs and knees needed a rest!
Out of a sense of patriotism, we visited the US pavilion with its simplicity and honest workmanship in fine woods.
We bade farewell to Giardini Biennale, of necessity skipping most of the country pavilions. . .but hey, there will be other Biennales, and we now know that to do it right, we need a minimum of 4-5 days.
One vaporetto stop away we discovered an oasis! At Sant’Elena we found another wonderful park, complete with children playing on swings, mothers pushing strollers, and people reading on park benches.
But the oasis of which I speak was a QUIET, COOL, LOVELY, NEARLY DESERTED bar/restaurant in the Hotel Indigo, also known as the Hotel Sant’Elena. I learned of this place from The Venice Insider. Hallelujah, it was the answer to a prayer for a comfy, quiet, air conditioned, free wifi, un touristy spot to recover for a bit.
Refreshed, the vaporetto took us home, across the Accademia bridge, and I sank immediately into a nap.
“Lin, don’t you think we should pack?” Of course, Don was right. We did, and then went out to find dinner which I had reserved at Locanda Montin. A garden table awaited us, along with yet another scrumptious meal.
We watched the Venetian sky shift from azure to Venetian ink as our meal progressed from “sardo in saor ” to sgroppino.
A walk along the canals of Dorsoduro, along the Zattere, back across our bridge, and it was time to finish writing, finish packing, set the alarm.
My flowered sneakers have a chip connected to an app which tells us that over the past few days we’ve walked nearly 20 miles. My hips and knees feel it; two ibuprofen will help me sleep and get me ready for the tango adventure ahead.
Arrivederci Venezia! We will return for one brief night after Tangostuni.
Tango on. . . .