The third stay of our vacation took us to Venice, where we enjoyed the sites and history of the city of Venicia. Of course, Venice is a city built on top of a lagoon, so the most significant feature of the city are its canals.
We did the things most tourists do while in Venice, plus some that maybe others don’t because our guide Sebastiano is a native Venetian and knows the city like the back of his hand.
We started our tour of the city by visiting the impressive Piazzo San Marco (St. Marks Square) and neighboring sites, and the it was off to some of the nearby islands of Burano, Murano, and Torcello. We had lunch at a quaint restaurant in Burano and had some of the freshest and most delicious seafood!
After Beth purchased some lace (for which the island of Burano is known for), it was then off to the island of Murano to see what that island is known for around the world – glass. We watched a glass blowing demonstration, toured several studios and Beth again shopped while Sebastiano and I drank wine and compared our wine notes and experiences.
Of course, being hand made, some of the end products made from Murano glass can be very expensive.
While in Venice, we also took a gondola ride, which was fun and interesting. Sebastiano purchased a bottle of Prosecco for us, and we drank it while our gondolier navigated the canals and traffic (we were caught in a traffic jam at one point – almost as bad as Rome’s traffic, but just on water).
We again had some more great food during our stay in Venice. One dinner was at a place call Al Covo, and the zuccini flowers, mussels, and softshell crab were delicious.
However, the gourmet highlight during Venice was when we took a train to nearby Padova and dined at our 2nd Michelin 3 star restaurant, Le Calandre. The food here was spectacular! Chef Massimiliano Alajmo (Max) welcomed us personally after we were seated and he and his staff prepared the best meal of the trip so far. Our menu consisted of:
- Al Aimo (a dish prepared with tomato, oil, ricotta, fava beans Sardinian flat bread, green beans basil and chili pepper)
- Cuttlefish cappuccino
- Crispy buffalo ricotta and mozzarella cannelloni with tomato sauce
- Saffron risotto with liquorice powder
- Hand-chopped raw Piemontese beef with black truffle
- Roast suckling pig with mustard sauce, coffee powder and sautéed chicorie
Dessert was as good as the rest of the meal and so were the wine pairings!