We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Carcofi (Artichoke) festival on Sant 'Erasmo

We noticed a poster advertising the 3rd annual Carcofi festival on Sant 'Erasmo, and I thought it might be interesting to go see what it was all about. It was on a saturday that we had nothing planned, so I put it on the calendar. I got out the vaporetto schedule, determined we needed to take the # 13 from Fondamenta Nuova to Sant 'Erasmo, and worked out that if we left Piazzale Roma on the # 41, we could switch boats at F. Nuove and get out to Sant' Erasmo around 10 am.

Sant Erasmo is a small island just off Burano. It's all farmland. Vegetables and fruit sold at the Rialto market are all grown here.

We set off from Piazzale Roma and changed boats at Fondamenta Nuova. The boat ride to Sant Erasmo is about 30 minutes, with a short stop at both Murano and Vignolo first. We got off at the Cappannone stop on Sant Erasmo, the first stop on the island. I wish I had taken a picture at the dock. You get off the boat, and you see a small refreshment stand to the left, a row of bicycles, some cars and motorcyles in a small parking lot. In front of you is open land, and a pathway. We didn't rent a bicycle. perhaps next time. We stopped for a drink and snack, and set off walking. We didn't have a map, and we let the other people on the boat take off ahead of us. We just ambled for a bit.

We made the bend in the road, we could see water off to our right, and farmland all to our left. Before long we spotted what we were eager to see.... artichokes!

The artichoke plant took us by surprise, we had never seen anything like it. These are the smaller type, purple in color. They were growing in large patches that seemed almost wild.

I'm posting a few pictures so you can get a little tour with us.

Poppies and other wildflowers were in abundance as we walked along the road. This was a treat, a far cry from what we see day to day in Venice.

There are little canals cutting through the fields and large houses here and there.

I haven't seen one of these since we were in Tuscany a few years ago. This 3 wheeled little truck is called an Ape (which translates to " the bee" , I believe). I want one! You can see how little it is, compared to Mike walking next to it.

Even here on Sant Erasmo there are canals. We didn't have a map, no way of knowing how many canals there are. This one in particular had alot of boat traffic on it, but still it was quiet and idyllic.

This boat is filled with wine jugs coming straight from a vineyard. We love seeing these pull up!

The Fort of Maximillian on Sant'Erasmo

Vendor stalls and exhibits set up for the Carcofi Festival. You could buy fresh artichokes and other vegetables, or sample some freshly cooked.

Figs on the vine.. mmmmmm.

We ended our walk at a little bar at this end of the island, and discovered a lovely beach.

The bar served food and wine, and had great outdoor seating with beachfront view. Can't get more authentic than this! We enjoyed fritto misto, sauteed artichokes (of course), homemade gnocchi and prosecco wine. I'm already planning a little beach getaway one afternoon, now that I have discovered the perfect spot!
After a leisurely lunch, we roamed back to the boat dock for the ride back to Venice. A perfect saturday afternoon.

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