Today we took the “Plague” walk through Venice that is offered by ContextVenice. As usual with Context tours, there were only four of us and the docent who has a PhD in Art History. We started the day much earlier than we had been and were out of the house heading for the vaporetto by 8:45 AM. Were we turning over a new leaf here? I think not! The vaporetto was very crowded but we rode it around to the Santa Maria della Salute church where we met Susan our guide and the other couple, who were from Louisiana. Santa Maria della Salute was built in thanksgiving for the ending of the plague outbreak of 1630. After exploring it with Susan, we all walked along the Zattere which is the outer “road” between Venice and the island of Giudecca. We ended up at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco where we had actually been before in 2008 but not in relation to the Plague. St. Roch (or Rocco) is the patron saint of contagious diseases and was believed by the Venetians as the saint who could save them from the plague. This was the end of the walk so Alan and I went looking for lunch and found Da Ignazio which is recommended in “Chow!Venice.” We sat outside in a lovely leaf covered patio having a leisurely 2 1/2 hour lunch, once again consisting mostly of seafood. It was lovely as was the food. I have to mention my cuttlefish in black ink over polenta. No pictures this time of this but probably the best rendition of this dish that I have had in any country. We have not explored this side of the canal much, but would go back to this restaurant in a second. We then went to the Casa di Goldini where Carlo Goldoni, one of Venice’s most important playwrights, lived. Then we went to Ca’ Rezzonica, a restored palazzo, which has much of its original furniture and where you can get an idea of what life in a Grand Canal Palazzo was like. It was actually owned by Robert Browning and his son in 1888 but we did not see any of his influence there. We made it through two complete floors and then pooped out. Sore feet and art overload struck so we caught the vaporetto back to Ca d’Oro. “Well,” BJ of the brilliant ideas said, “since we are so close, let’s stop at the Billa supermarket and get a couple of things.” Two full bags of groceries later, we walked the rest of the way home and collapsed. Dinner is a roasted chicked we bought at the Billa and then, hopefully, an early night. Tomorrow we meet Nan at the Rialto for a lesson in fish and fish buying and cichetti afterwards. Another early morning but the Rialto fish market is worth it!
For those who are waiting breathlessly for a report on our birthday dinner at Boccadora last night, may I say it was every bit as good as three years ago. These pictures might tempt you to go next time you are in Venice.
Pesci misti crudo
Tagliatelli Neri with Scallops and Squash Blossoms
Pesci friti misti
Tiramisu–we got a little carried away here and couldn’t wait for a picture before we ate it.


A Plague in Venice — 2 Comments