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

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A visit from my family

My sister just spent  4 days in Venice, and now, I need a vacation.

Venice was the middle stop on a trip to Rome, Venice and Paris for my sister Charlotte, brother-in-law Steve, and their 11 yr old granddaughter Sophie.    I had been tagged by Charlotte to help  pull together the Venice leg of their adventure, since I lived here. I had worked hard on planning 4 days of activities that might appeal 11 yr old, and now it was show time.

We did all of the usual " touristy" things- saw St. Mark's square, the Rialto bridge, the markets, marvelled at the canals and little alleyways.  I walked their feet off and left them ragged at their hotel every evening! And in between all that we did a few not-so-touristy things as well.  We visited my favorite campos and stopped in at my favorite caffes.   Sophie got to meet a few of my friends. First stop was  Mauro Vianello's shop on Calle dei Morti where he created a couple of custom glass gifts for Sophie to take home. Mauro never ceases to amaze me, and I know he wow-ed Sophie! Grazie, Mauro for helping make this a very special visit for one little girl from New York.

We had a private glass blowing demonstration at Mazzucato's on Murano. A wonderful glassblower, Gianni, fascinated us by creating the most exquisite drinking glasses. Sophie purchased a ring made from glass, in the shape of a rose, just what she was looking for!

Next up was a one-on-one mask making session with Mario at Benor Maschere in Santa Croce.  Mario went above and beyond our wildest expectations as he gave Sophie tips on decorating her mask. And then, at the end, he lovingly did a little bit of touch up on her mask to make it an absolutely exquisite piece of art she will treasure for a lifetime.

The night we had dinner at La Terrazza , the restaurant at Hotel Bonvecchiati, I came away with another new friend. I won't be forgetting Fulvio, one of our delighful waiters, anytime soon, and I am sure I'll be back to visit him again and again. At one point in the meal I introduced myself to Fulvio, and explained that I live here. He responded with, "But I have never seen you before!".  As I was leaving Fulvio slipped me a note containing the name of a friend of his who owns another restaurant in town.

One afternoon, while trying a Spritz in Campo S. Giovanni e Paolo, my brother-in-law looked around and said,  "It just doesn't get any better than this, does it?"  I smiled, happy that this constantly working relative had been able to take a step back, and really enjoy a few moments in this beautiful city.

We saved a gondola ride for the very last night.  The heat of the day had left, there was a slight breeze even. All the  crowds had left the city for the day, and we just about had Venice to ourselves. An early evening gondola ride was the perfect way to end a visit.   Venice is a magical city. It's even more magical by gondola.

It is no secret that I love Venice.  To my great surprise, this week I fell even more in love.

1 comment:

Dianne said...

Wow what a fun time for your family. Sounds like you worked hard and they appreciated it which is always wonderful. I imagine you are very tired. As much as we who live away from family and friends like to have visitors, it can be tiring to change our routines. I am looking forward to Venice. I leave tomorrow from Florence where I have spent a couple of days with an Italian friend and her brother. My Italian has had a workout so hopefully I am ready for my week of lessons at Istituta Venezia. Ciao and maybe we will see each other.