Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Life is beautiful

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer,
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer…”

Today was one of those incredible blue and sunny Venice days. You know, the kind where you start off at daybreak and you get to watch your son eat his first ever brioche con marmellata with a really exquisite cappuccino. Then when you take him to Piazza San Marco, long before the crowds roll in, and you’re sitting in a café chair outside Lavena, all the bells go off. A ringin’ and a chimin’ with black moors striking the bells at the top of the clock tower.

He was so impressed with the chapel at the side of San Marco. He was even more impressed with the two traghetto rides we took. We visited a lot of churches today. After the San Marco side chapel, we went into San Zulian, then San Stephano, where he took some great pictures and finally the glorious Salute.

I can’t believe we walked around four sestieri this morning; Castello, San Marco, San Polo and Accademia.

We have been over the Rialto Bridge three times already, and we’ve only been here twenty-four hours. We walked over the Accademia Bridge as well.

Alessandro has looked in so many clothes stores. He speaks perfect shopping Italian now. “Buon giorno, quanto costa per favore? Grazie.” After really checking out the Dolce e Gabbana store very closely, he finally found two affordable jackets in my favorite piazza, Campo Santa Maria Formosa. We had just sat for a half hour on some steps leading down to a canal, eating our pizza al taglio, while gazing at the many storied apartment buildings and watching a stream of gondole float serenely by. It was just after school let out and the square was filling up with young children and their nonnas, play equipment was set out for all to share and mammas were catching up with their amici.

Then we walked down Calle de la Rasse to the Grand Canal just in time to see the biggest cruise ship I have ever seen in my life drift majestically by. The people lining the top story had all been in Venice earlier that day. If you avoid the main streets during rush hour like we do, you can avoid them too.

Alessandro finally found the elusive Ferrari store again. It’s right next to the Chiesa San Zulian, which we walked past six times today, and across from the Cartier store. He saw a jacket he liked for 760 euros and found one or two other things… but sadly they were closing for the night. I found a plum and chestnut silk and cashmere pashmina to add to my collection. Leslie’s rule: One can never have enough pashminas.


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