Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Venice - October 24, 2010

We woke to an overcast day and headed out for some culture. We started at the Sala della Musica – a museum with many violins, cellos, flutes, mandolins, harps, oboes and other unique instruments. Couldn’t take pictures, of course. After the Musicia, we headed to the Galleria dell’Accademia which has works from the Venetian Renaissance from the middle ages to the 1700s. Many more Madonna with bambino portraits as well Feast at House of Levi which was commissioned to replace a version of the Last Supper by Titian. It looked like the Last Lunch with wine and prosciutto. It was now lunch time so we stopped at a café for a panini and espresso. We encountered the Venetian marathon on our quest for a café. It can’t be easy to be a long distance runner in Venice. Too many bridges and tourists to run over.
After lunch, we went to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. She had an amazing personal collection which is housed in her retirement palazzo. There were pieces from Picasso, Braque, Dali, Boccioni, Pollock, Chagall and others. Quite the palatial residence. There was a “Yoko Ono wish tree” outside where you could write your wish on a piece of paper and hang it in the tree. I went with the classic Miss America line and wished for world peace but seriously, I do. Kelly wouldn’t tell me what he wished for. It might have been to get that Ferrari Testerossa, or world peace.
Once we emerged from Peggy’s Palace, it was raining. We headed back towards Rialto and the Coin department store. Tourists in Venice do not know umbrella etiquette – lesson at noon tomorrow, Westin lobby. We Vancouverites weren’t carrying umbrellas but we almost got our eyes poked out a few times. We didn’t find anything enticing in Coin and decided to head back to the hotel. Went into a little store selling various Murano glass things – Kelly bought cuff links and I got a small vase and a pendent. We stopped at a small grocery store and picked up 200 grams of cheese from the deli, some bruschetta crackers as well as a 5 Euro bottle of Chianti – which was the expensive stuff. The cheese was superb – latteria vecchio (soft cheese) and rocca pontina (hard cheese). The rocca was my favourite. We perused the other aisles and came across the baby food – pictures of bunny (no, don’t eat bunny!) and prosciutto. I suppose that’s where the When in Rome saying comes in handy… We also bought a package of Knorr Risotteria Pomodoro e Porcini to take home, just because. We (I) may need Google Translator to help me make it.  
It was still raining when we ventured out for dinner so we decided to go somewhere close by. Big mistake. Big. Huge. Ristorante Piccolo Martini packs them in, and again, run by guys from Bangladesh. Since we just wanted something light, we thought this was ok. I ordered the spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and chillies which was ok. Kelly had a pizza with funghi, which was very bland, but entertaining. On his last slice of pizza, I see him pulling a long stand of cheese from his mouth – only it wasn’t cheese. You got it, hair. Long and black. We call over the head waiter dude to tell him and he says No! This isn’t from here. No one here has long black hair. It’s a blonde hair. [he puts it against a piece of white paper] See? It’s blonde. I tell him that if he’d like a piece of my hair to compare it too, I’d be happy to pull one out. The hair is clearly black, and long. No! It didn’t come from here. No! It’s not from here. Not our fault. [this is where Kelly loses his cool] Kelly: I don’t care whose hair it is, it isn’t ours, it was in my pizza and I want you to take this away - now. I also gave him the rest of my pasta (I was done anyway). The head dude continues to argue about the hair. What is his problem? Oh right, I brought a hair (like I do on every trip) and plant it JUST as we’re finishing our meal. Doesn’t everyone? Geez dude, apologize and just get the hell out of there – this is clearly turning into a scene, which none of us want. He takes away the dishes after a few more shakes of his head and saying it isn’t their hair then departs with an “enjoy your wine”. What an idiot and an ass. He now takes the hair, puts it on a piece of paper and puts scotch tape across it. Exhibit “A” I suppose – DNA testing tomorrow. Hey dude, did you notice that the Asian girl that brought us our wine has similar hair? Hmm? Did you? Idiot. I sense a really good Trip Advisor review coming from me in the near future. Is there a rating below zero? They took the pizza off the bill, but left the 10% service charge on. That seemed appropriate. Oh and p.s., I never mentioned the fruit fly I drowned in my wine. I brought him in too, with the hair. We paid cash – no way I was going to give my credit card to have him ring it through 15 times.
I think tonight’s a good night to try that dessert wine from Banfi – Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui. We picked up a Pan dei Pescatori Cioccolato (chocolate cookie with nuts on it - supposedly a Venice specialty) and a Cremino  (white, milk and dark chocolate). We’ll retire with that and perhaps some English TV (CNN anyone?). Tomorrow, more roaming about. The weather is supposed to be crappy again so not sure how far we’ll venture, but we’ll see.

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