Day Eight - Santa Croce, Murano, and a Hidden Gem
Fruits Greet the Early Shoppers
on a Corner Near the Laundry
(Click to Enlarge)
Today was laundry day. I awoke early, gathered our clothes, and walked
down to a laundromat we had passed a few blocks from the hotel. The
machines seemed simple enough, but a kind lady insisted on assiting
me nonetheless. I started the wash and went out for a croissant.
Normally I wouldn't enjoy doing laundry, particularly at a laundromat, but this gave me a good opportunity to walk around some of the
neighborhoods behind the store and witness the early morning routine.
There is a bit of an energy shortage in Italia and while the washers
were relatively cheap, dryers were another matter. Luckily, two cycles
of 15 minutes were enough.
Our third night in Venezia would require a change of hotels. We checked
out of Zecchini and took a vaporetto to Santa Croce and found our stop.
Hotel San Cassiano
took a little effort to locate, but it would be well worth it. Unlike
Zecchini, which was right in the heart of the action, San Cassiano was
in a quiet, out-of-the-way, area, which made for a nice change of pace.
Hotel San Cassiano
A Hidden Gem
Aside from its canals and gondolas, Venezia is most famous for its glass.
The island of Murano
is where most of the glass is blown, and has been since 1291.
We purchased a 24-hour vaporetto ticket and made our way to the island,
about a 30 minute ride, with all the stops.
Possibly due to the holiday season, Murano was very tranquil when we
arrived. We walked around and did some shopping and tried to find some
glass being made, but most of the factories were shut down at this time.
It was a little disappointing. Not much was happening in Murano, so
we took the next vaporetto back.
Strangely enough, I had been in Italia for eight days and I had yet
to drink some wine. We decided we'd find a nice place to dine for our
last evening in Venezia and have wine with dinner. We had seen a few
places near Piazza San Marco that would fit the bill.
As we neared the hotel, we heard a guitar playing and someone singing
Straits' "Sultans of Swing." It sounded very good and
we were curious where it was coming from. We followed the music and
found a very nice but well-hidden ristorante called Osteria
Antico Giardinetto. A quick step inside and we were sold.
The good people at San Cassiano had arranged for a complimentary bottle
of wine to be delivered to our room, which we enjoyed while resting
a bit and dressing for dinner. We arrived back at Antico Giardinetto
at about 9 PM and it was very empty. Most everyone in the region was
already in vacation mode. They assured us we could still dine and we
chose a seat out in the garden patio.
We chose a bottle of wine and began trying to decipher the menu, which
was a bit more difficult than other places we'd been. We called our
server over and asked him for some help and he began pointing to words
on the menu and pointing to various fish that were decorating the walls.
Right about then another server brought over the English menus, which
was a great help.
I ordered some black linguine with raw shrimp and it was absolutely
fantastic. Fai tried a more traditional spaghetti. Both dishes we superb.
The musician began to play a collection of classic rock songs and was
quite talented. He sat down with us between sets and we chatted about
his career and history.
The sever, Luca, was also very friendly and nice. He explained the
holiday a bit and why the place was so empty and then told us of a party
on Lido they were having after they closed for the evening.He gave us
a card and invited us to the gathering. In the end, we were just too
tired and we had an early train back to Roma in the morning.
Dinner at Osteria Antico Giardinetto was the perfect way to conclude
our stay in Venezia.