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


Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Earthquake!!!

Early this afternoon, another terremoto (earthquake) shook our apartment. What the heck is going on in Italy this week??  The epicenter was again near Parma, and about the same intensity as the first one a few days ago. Fortunately for everyone in Italy, no damage was suffered as a result of either of these events.  After everything was over, Mike and I had a little discussion about what it might have been like if the epicenter had been here in Venice. Surely we would have been covered by our building. It's 4 stories high, and we are on the second floor. It's got lots of marble, brick and big thick wooden beams throughout the whole building.  After thinking about all this, I now have an escape plan in mind should we need it in the future. I'm grabbing a big trash bag, throwing my computer, passport, phone and money into this. Then I'm grabbing the dogs and we're jumping into the canal. I am betting the canal is safer than land in a situation like this.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The anniversary - 4 yrs ago today the adventure began

Today is a special day at our house! Four years ago, we arrived in Venice to begin our new life. Where have  those 4 years gone?  Goodness, they have just flown,  it feels as if it were just yesterday I walked into this apartment for the first time.

I spent most of today reflecting on everything we've been through- from all the planningto selling all of our possessions and actually getting ourselves here, to making a life in an entirely new country,  not knowing one single soul other than ourselves or knowing the language.  Sometimes I look back and wonder "What were we thinking?" I know the answer to that. We wanted to get out of the rat race and live a simpler life before it was too late.

My life coach, Bill Pullen, sent me this wonderful  message this morning -- "Wow, 4 years. You are a powerful example of the willingness to courageously pursue your dream."

 His words reminded me of one of the most important lessons I learned during this process - I had found the courage to pursue a dream, and make it a reality.

I just want to share with everyone reading one thing- if I can find that courage, anyone can. No matter what you dream of, YOU are the one who can make it happen. There is no luck involved, it's all your own hard work, dedication, and the courage to keep at it until you succeed.























Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The tax man cometh and a terremoto (earthquake) this morning

The letter you see above from RAI, the Italian TV networks run by the Italian government, was delivered yesterday by our post woman. Here's a little tidbit you should know about if you are ever thinking of living in Italy- if you have  a TV in your apartment, you must pay a special tax to the Italian government of 112 Euros per year, just to have the luxury of plugging the TV into an antenna. Isn't that something?  Fortunately for us this wasn't a shock .  (It was a shock when we initially saw it spelled out in our lease! ) Can any American imagine getting taxed on their TV's every year???  Tomorrow we'll be making a stop at the Post Office to pay the RAI tax. There's something every day, huh??

Speaking of something every day- this morning a little after 9am I was sitting in bed enjoying a cup of tea while checking email on my iPad when I felt a slight vibration. It lasted only about half a minute. I thought it was unusual,  had no idea what it could have been and wondered for a second if it could have been an earthquake, but quickly dismissed it.  I put it out of my mind, until later  this  morning when I read the newspaper to discover there had been an earthquake of magnitude 4.9 this morning centered in the Mantova, Parma, and Emiglia area that reportedly was also felt all over the Veneto area.  I can confirm that, I felt it. Did anyone else? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A little bit of Maryland comes to Venice


We had an unplanned festa at our house tonight!  Earlier this morning, while at my fish monger in Campo Santa Margherita to pick up a piece of salmon, I noticed he had a small pile of blue crabs- Maryland blue crabs! Wow, this was an incredible surprise. I could not leave there without some, so I asked for 6 of them also.  My fish monger says, "Oh, you like the Dungeness crabs?"  Sorry- these are Maryland Blues. I had to set him straight. We got into a little discussion on the difference between the two crab types. As usual, we were doing this conversation in half English, half Italian. I was speaking the Italian, he was answering me in as much English as he knew. This then led to a bigger discussion of where I lived in the US.  Maryland, of course!   He impressed me with his knowledge of US geography. He knew exactly that Maryland was between New York and Washington DC, and that they were on the East coast of the US. 

As he was slicing my salmon, he asked where I was born. When he found out I was from New Jersey, he had to know if I watch some show on Italian cable called Jersey Girls.  I think he must have meant Jersey Shore or Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I just had to laugh. What an unbelievable conversation to be having with my fish guy!

I was so excited to share my good fortune with Mike I just about ran home.  We've never seen Maryland Blue crabs in any of the fish stalls we've been at in Venice in all the years we've been here. There are very few things we miss about living in the US, but high up on that list would be Maryland crabs and sweet white corn.   We don't dwell on the things we miss, because there are so many other wonderful things here, especially foods, that we also love. We can always find things to step in and take the place of any of the items we might miss on occassion. However, today, to find these crabs was just like getting a little prize.  If anyone had watched us eat dinner tonight, they would have thought we hadn't eaten in days!  We devoured those 6 crabs. 



My six crabs, fresh from the market.



All cooked up, ready to be eaten!

After the feast...Buonissimo!!

Tomorrow morning, I will be back at my fish mongers to see if he has a few crabs left, or if he can order them for us.  Now all I need is a few ears of white corn!!

Postscript to last nite's post -- We've just come from the fish monger, with the last 6 crabs in hand! He had them under the counter. When he saw us approaching, he flashed us a big smile and said "You want the crabs" and pulled them out for us.  Wow, are we ever happy!!  And, he tells us that although these particular crabs are not readily available, if we let him know when we want more he will put in an order and hope he can get some.  Guess what we are eating again tonight ???? That's right!!! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today's walk - Aqua Bassa

Last night as I was closing up the shutters I noticed a thick fog had rolled in around our canal. I wondered what morning would be like.  We've had an unusually mild winter so far in Venice- pretty mild temperatures, very little fog, no ice or snow yet, and only one morning of high water. Weird season, actually, but I am not complaining. I'm a summer girl.

In the morning, my first order of business was an appointment at my hairdresser's, Simone.  His salon was FREEZING this morning!!!  I had checked the weather when I got up, supposed to be 33 degrees F. At Simone's I think it was colder, and my hunch was right, he explained that his caldaia (the water heater) was not working when he arrived earlier.  Yikes! I shivered through the whole event. 

On my way home from Simone's I noticed a familiar gondola parked right in front of the Frari. Alessandro!!!  I haven't seen him since early fall. I looked around to see where he was standing, hoping it really was him today. Sometimes gondoliers who are not working will lend their boats to other gondoliers. This was clearly Sandro's gondola, but where was he?  Aha! There he was having a coffee in the window of the cafe at the foot of the bridge. When he spotted me, he waved  and motioned for me to come in. We had a coffee together and caught up a bit. I'm excited, he is going to check around to see if any of his friends will be rowing in the Volo in Silenzio on the last night of Carnevale to hopefully secure me a seat in a boat for less money than the official tickets are being sold for.  After kisses and hugs, I left Sandro to his work and I headed off to Campo Santa Margherita for a stop at my fish guys. 

I love my fish guys! While I waited a few minutes, they peeled and deveined my kilo of gambero (shrimp) for me.  Makes my life really simple come dinner time. I also stopped at the vegetable stall, then met Mike at Mood Cafe for a cup of tea and a little light lunch. By this time I was freezing. Today is the coldest day we've had so far. I checked on my iphone- the temperature was now 26 degrees F or  -3 C!!!!  It wasn't too warm inside Mood either, but better than being outside.

I had one more errand to accomplish before I could get home and warm up. Mike and I both walked together to Giustinian so I could drop off my request for prescriptions at my doctor's office.  My doctor has a new system now, which I am very grateful for. Instead of having to wait in the queue at his office each month to renew prescriptions, I can drop off a letter in his mail box, then return the next day to pick up the prescriptions. 

On our walk  home from the Dottore's office, I snapped a few photos of the unusually low water in the canals today. On a typical day at  high tide, the water level is even with the highest dark line you see on the canals. When it's low tide on a normal day, the green area on the canal wall is visible.  During this period of  very  low tide, the water is so low the last stairs are visible.



Even the algae is out of water today by several feet. Very unusual.





And the steps at my own water door (photo above) are completely out of water. This is the first time I've seen those bottom 2 steps. Fortunately, most boats are flat bottomed and don't require very much water. I can't imagine all the boats that would be run aground otherwise. Italy has had all the ship problems it can handle for one week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My new best friend

I bet you thought I was going to tell you all about a new shopkeeper or barista who  befriended me this week.  I wish!  I made a promise to myself that I would push myself harder to improve my Italian this year, and in doing so, I've been working on developing some new daily habits.  One to two hours a day I am pouring over my Italian workbooks, listening to audiotapes and recording myself. I'm also reading a book in Italian!  I chose an old favorite of mine- Nancy Drew's Mystery of the Broken Locket!  Don't laugh, I realize this  book is geared towards 10-12 yrs old, but it's right up my alley.



According to some Italian proficiency tests I took recently, I'm at an intermediate level. Still, I find myself horribly deficient. The Nancy Drew book is forcing me to really work at it. I've been making some good progress, although a bit slower than I would have liked.  My process is pretty simple- I attempt to make out the text on my own with the hopes of being able to read and understand as much as I possibly can. Then,  I break out i Ragazzini, my trusty Italian-English dictionary,  and start looking up the words I don't know. Then, I take a tea break!  I have two new notebooks- one for nouns, prepositions, adverbs etc, and another for verbs. Anything that is new to me I am writing down in my notebooks, along with examples of how the words are used. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but i Ragazzini is about 4 1/2 inches thick.  I'm not only getting a mental work out, but  my arms are also benefitting from all the lifting.

At the rate I am going, I expect to be finished with Nancy Drew in about a month.  I thought I had a pretty extensive vocabulary already, however, to be honest, I think my new notebooks will be full up before the book is finished.  The system seems to be working for me- except for bumping into some verb tenses I'm unfamiliar with.  Passato remoto for one. I'm still struggling over the use of Passato prossimo and Imperfetto!  You know that saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"?  Well, folks- Karen is an old dog. Trying to learn new verb tenses is just not easy.  However, determination and hard work will see me through this. I am committed to becoming more proficient.  Notice I was careful not to say fluent?

Now, the only other thing I need this week is a few words with the Patron saint of learning Italian!

Postscript added Friday morning- I know this is going to sound weird, but it's true. Last night in a dream, the identification of the Patron saint of Learning Italian was revealed to me.  Its Spiro Agnew!  I woke up shortly after that tidbit of information was divulged in the dream, so I unfortunately was unable to get back to the dream to find out if there was anything else to it.  When I told this to Mike this morning, he commented that this was surely a sign  I am supposed to turn Republican.  Sorry, but I don't agree.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stuff - catching up this week

I posted recently about the vegetable boat at San Barnaba closing up. The photo above was taken on their last day of work, Dec 24. The photo below was taken yesterday. Same boat, same spot, pretty forlorn looking. Venice is changing, more rapidly that I care to admit.


And below is even further evidence of it- Farmacia Morelli in Campo San Bartolmeo keeps this digital display in the front window, constantly updating the number of full time residents in the city, along with a document posting the number from years prior. You can see in 1971, we had 108,426. Today the number is 58, 990, the lowest ever.


An update on my broken living room window situation:  our landlord paid us a visit late last week to inspect the damage. He told us he would arrange for Daniele, the handyman, to arrive on Tuesday.  He also informed us we should always remember to make sure the shutters are closed firmly two times during the year- on New Years and during Carnevale.  Duly noted.

Daniele arrived as scheduled at 9:30 am on Tuesday. We were expecting the worst, as we have lots of experience replacing window panes at our Baltimore house.  It used to take us hours to get one of those windows out, dig out the broken pane, take it down to Home Depot to have a new glass cut, then re-install the thing with glazing points and glaze.  Several hours work for just one pane.  Based on our experiences here, we thought this could be a multiple day operation, maybe even longer.  Boy, were we surprised!

Daniele slipped the window off it's hinge- didn't even need a screwdriver.  He took the entire window with him, and told us he was going to Vito for glass and would come back.  He didn't say WHEN. We figured a few days, maybe a week.  15 minutes later, Daniele was at the door with the new glass installed in the window frame.  He came in, slipped the window back onto the hinge and was gone. 25 minutes tops. Holy cow!

A little blog news:  I get a significant amount of email requests asking me to blog more often, and to write more about everyday events in my life. My goal for 2012 is to write more. I'm asking for some input from you all - please tell me if there is anything in particular you would like me to write about. Keep posting comments and giving me feedback!!!

One last thing-  I am so blessed to have each of you along with me! Grazie, tutti!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh boy,another go round with Vodafone

I thought I'd start this blog off with a happy photo, cause my day yesterday wasn't all that great. Enjoy one of my favorite views in Venice of the Rialto bridge on a recent afternoon.

Yesterday, I had to deal with Vodafone - again.  I avoid this like the plague. Vodafone is the company we have our mobile phone and internet service with.  When we originally set up our account with them, we went to the store at the foot of the Rialto instead of the one closest to our apartment, because at Rialto there were a few employees who spoke English better.  Every time we have a need to deal with our Vodafone account, the clerks who work at our local Vodafone shop refuse to help us. They always direct us back to Rialto, citing as a reason that we must go to where we set up the account. We have always thought this was nonsense, but  not knowing any better, we do what we are told.  We've learned the hard way you just don't argue with these people.

So- yesterday we discovered mid day that our phone service had been interrupted. Mid day. Great. Vodafone is closed for siesta and wouldn't be open until 3:30.  Not wanting to go back to the Rialto area a second time that day (I had been there in the morning too), I went to our local Vodafone shop at 4pm, hoping they might be able to save me a trip to Rialto. I did this, but mind you, I was expecting the worst.

I knew that to get the phone service turned back on I was going to have to make a payment at the Post Office in cash, but I needed to know how much money was needed.  All I wanted was for the woman at the local Vodafone store to look up the account and tell me the amount. I was already geared up for the long line I'd incur over at the Post Office. It was not going to be a good afternoon.  On top of that,  I already knew that she was just going to look at me and say "You need to go to the Rialto office".  Still, I slapped a smile on my face (all the while gritting my teeth at the same time), and asked the woman to please help me.

Here it comes, I thought to myself. Why didn't I just go to Rialto to begin with??  Hope against hope, I'm always the optimist. Or maybe I am a masochist and I'm fooling myself!

After making my plea for help, this woman tells me she will find out how much I owe and I can make the payment by credit card right there.  What?  Say that again, per favore?? Did I understand you correctly?
This cannot be!!!  The reason I say that is because I had already been told by Vodafone many many times that we could  never pay our account by our US bank issued credit card. Our payment had to be from an Italian bank account, or on an Italian credit card. We'd gone round and round and lost this battle with Vodafone long ago.

Again, this woman says she will do it. I hand her my phone, she calls customer support, she gets the amount owed from them, and asks me to hand over my credit card and my documentation.  In two minutes, everything is finished and my service is restored.  It turns out I probably could have done all this myself if I could have understood the Vodafone customer service voice menu system. It's impossible- the Italian recordings speak at breakneck speed. I am completely at a loss if I have to deal with any menu system here. This woman, for whatever reason, decided she would help me out, and I am grateful beyond belief. I was doing a happy dance in the Vodafone store. I don't know what this woman ate for lunch, but it made her very cooperative.  She never had been before.

I'm about to leave the store when she asks if I want to make future payments by credit card also?  What, are you kidding me???  She is volunteering to do even more for me?? Sure, that would be fabulous. She gets back on the phone with customer service, and in two more minutes has updated my account so that now all payments will be on this credit card.  I'm thinking to myself I need to go directly to the church around the corner to light candles, and do not pass Go.

After just about kissing this woman and multiple "Grazie mille's", I did immediately duck into San Pantalone, lit a candle, and said a quick prayer of thanks to God, and to the Vodafone God, and one last prayer for the health of my Vodafone woman.

Then, I made that phone call to Mike (yes, the phone was working!) and  invited him to the mini-celebration I was about to have for myself in Campo Santa Margherita. This called for a prosecco!

BTW- I did not speak one word of English during my entire time in the Vodafone store. Perhaps this woman finally took pity on me because I have been trying so hard to speak the lingo???  



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Prelude to Carnevale

They're back!!!!  Frittelle, that tasty little morsel of fried dough stuffed with crema, zabaiglone or ricotta and made only in the Venice area and ONLY at Carnevale time, have been sighted in bakeries this week!!




Unfortunately this is not a great photo, but I couldn't resist snapping a quick shot with my phone as I passed the bakery next to our apartment, so you get a lovely reflection of one of the buildings across the canal as a bonus!

I've been vowing to eat more sensibly  in the hopes of shedding the extra pounds I put on while eating with sheer abandon during our vacation and the holidays. Frittelle are not going to help my cause any!  Already I've had two of them!  I had to introduce our friends Anne and Kate from St.Louis to them, so we stopped off at Rizzardini's where I ate my first of the season, filled with zabaiglone. Heaven!  What is it about fried dough???

Yesterday, I HAD to have one filled with ricotta, so I ducked into the Majer. I will bet you there is another ricotta filled frittelle coming home with me today.

Frittelle in the bakery is the first sign that Carnevale is on it's way. It's almost like hearing robins singing- you know spring is right around the corner. Same with Frittelle.  Our harbinger of Carnevale season.

This year, similar to last year, Venice will host a weekend of events Feb 4-5, prior to the official start of Carnevale which is on Feb 11. Here's a link to the website where you can see a list of all the events requiring tickets, which you can order on the site as well:

http://www.venice-carnival-italy.com/

Some of the biggest events are the Marie's Parade on Feb 11 which starts at San Pietro in Castello and ends in St. Mark's square, and the Flight of the Angel, at noon on Feb 12 in St. Mark's square.

The Marie's parade starts at San Pietro in Castello and ends in St. Mark's square, where the 12 Marie's are presented to the Doge.  Just prior to Carnevale, 12 Marie's are selected in a beauty pageant like contest held at the Casino. These 12 Maries preside over various events throughout the city during Carnevale week, including appearances at several masked balls. At this special parade the Marie's are acompanied by groups of people from cities nearby Venice, in traditional dress. Many of the groups have flag throwers performing. It's an interesting parade to watch full of pomp and ceremony, as well as 12 beautiful Marie's. (Below is small  clip of last year's parade)

The flight of the Angel involves a person "flying" down a wire cable from the Campanile across the square down to the stage at the opposite end of the square where the Doge is waiting to greet them. In previous years, there has been a celebrity "Angel", however in recent times, in a cost cutting effort, the Angel has been the winning Marie from the previous year. This year will be the same. It doesn't matter who does the flying, it's an event worth experiencing to kick off the big Carnevale week. St. Mark's square will be packed to capacity, with barely room to breathe.  You can purchase a ticket to get a close up spot for the Flight of the Angel, however the majority of the throng will just be jammed into the square with cameras, sans a good position, just like me.

Here's a list of some of the famous "Angels" from the past few years ( just in case you were curious, as I was).


2005: Carolina Marconi, model and actress;
 2006: Manuela Levorato, sprinter;
 2007: Federica Pellegrini, swimmer;
2008: Coolio, rap singer, with a costume by Moschino;
2009: Margherita Maccapani Missoni, actress, with a costume by Missoni;
2010: Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, model, with a costume by Giambattista Valli;
2011: Silvia Bianchini, winner of the beauty contest of the Festa delle Marie 2010, with a costume by Emanuela Finardi and Stefano Nicolao.


And finally, a clip of the Flight of the Angel from a previous year, to get you sufficiently psyched for Carnevale 2012!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

La Befana - January 6

January 6- Epiphany- is a National holiday in Italy. Not only does it signify the day the Wise Men arrived bearing gifts for baby Jesus, it is also the day La Befana arrives. And who is La Befana?  In Italy, La Befana is a kind old witch who flies on the night of Jan 5 on a broom, delivering candies and goodies to good children who have left their stockings up for her to fill. Sounds a little like Santa Claus, doesn't it?  January 6 is also the day Italians take down Christmas trees and decorations. It marks the end of the holiday season, sadly. But, on a cheery note, there is this one last celebration to get through!


This kindly old witch is supposedly the same old woman the Wise Men visited as they made their way to Bethlehem. They invited the old woman to come along with them, but she refused. Later in the night she saw the bright star shining in the sky, and set off after the Wise Men in hopes of catching up with them.  All over Italy, on the night of January 5, La Befana delivers candies to good children, and possibly a lump of coal to those who have not been so good.

There is even a special song about La Befana:


The Befana comes by night

With her stockings all tattered and torn
Her hat worn the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!


Celebrations vary throughout the country, ranging from towns hanging enormous stockings in the city center to   cities staging  large fires blazing  which they burn  wicker puppets. Here in Venice, Festa della Befana is a little different.  It's celebrated by having a special regata on the Grand Canal!  Men dressed  in dresses, scarves and wigs race in boats from San Toma to the Rialto bridge. Here are a few photos from last years race.



The regata is tomorrow morning at 11:00 am.  Afterwards there is usually hot chocolate and mulled wine served along Fondamenta del Vin.  What a great way to wind down the holiday season! Bring your cameras, I'll see you there!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goings on at Ca' Hendersoni

The mozzarella shaped like a pig was just too good to pass up.  Look closely, it really is shaped like a pig.You just don't see these every day :) These are hanging in one of the booths at the mercatino over at Campo San Polo. When we were there on Saturday, we got the great news the booths will be open until the end of Carnevale!!!! We've really been enjoying wandering over to San Polo to watch the local kids ice skate and also buy artigianal products like sausages and cheese.

OK, the holidays are just about over (still need to get through Jan 6, Epiphany and La Befana) and life is returning to normal around our house.  Today we woke up to discover a window in our living room had been broken over the holiday, most likely by someone partying just a little bit too hard on New Year's Eve.  Our living room windows overlook two canals, and our apartment is right on a busy thoroughfare leading to and from Piazzale Roma. Anyone leaving St. Mark's square on New Year's Eve heading back home to Mestre by bus would have opportunity to throw something at our window.  Why? Who knows! Just another one of life's pleasantries. And how's this for a kicker. Normally we close the window shutters, however we left them open because our Christmas tree sits right in this window.  From now on we will be closing our shutters for sure.

Fortunately, we only rent the apartment. Fixing the window will have to be dealt with by the landlord. I can't even imagine what gyrations we'd have to through to get one of these windows replaced,as they are very old, and very huge. Luckily, there are two sets of windows in each window in our apartment, which must have been an early attempt at double pane windows,so we aren't getting cold air through the house. The broken window is on the outside set of windows.  Even though Venice is the home of glass, I am betting the cost of a new window sure to be astronomical. I'm already imagining a large piece of glass being floated down the canal by boat! With any luck, this will be handled soon, and I'll let you know how it all turns out!

 Speaking of the landlord, we completed our annual renewing of the lease process yesterday. I love how this all goes down!  It's very simple. He emails us, usually one or two days before the end of the year (our lease goes January to December), and tells us that if we want, the new year's rent will be 100 Euros more per month. We email back and say we think that's too much. He emails back and says "How about 50?". We say ok, and the deal is completed. This year, it was even simpler. He emailed and said "50 Euros more a month". We said "Done".

Today it was alittle wet and overcast here in Venice. But not so wet that we couldn't get out and walk.  We were headed over to Santa Marta, which is located on the westernmost tip of Venice. The Venice farmers market that used to be held at Piazzale Roma was moved to Santa Marta a few months ago, and I wanted to check it out. If you look at the map below, the section on the far left that is yellow and grey colored is the part where we were headed.   (This map is from the Comune di Venezia website. I am surprised to learn that they consider the area where the churches of San Sebastiano and Angelo Raffaele -4 and 5 on the map- part of Santa Marta.  You have to click on the map to see the complete area, I think. Sorry about that.). Santa Marta is an old area of Venice where there used to be an old cotton factory and other warehouses. It's close to the port of Venice. Today, many of the old buildings have been converted into University departments, including a theatre.

While at the farmers market we bought fresh eggs stacked up in a basket, and met the young man at the egg booth who also takes orders for chicken, guinea hens and gallina. You sign his order form, include your phone number and he will call to tell you what day he'll bring them over to Venice. Fresh guinea hen is sure to be on our dinner menu very soon, now that we have a source.  Today there were only about 5-6 stalls total, including the egg guy,  fresh vegetables, cheese, meats- sausage, pork chops and cotelchino, and a wine vendor.  I usually try to shop at Rialto market, but on Mondays in the future I will make sure I get to Santa Marta to support these vendors too.





To leave you on a happy note, and give you one more little tidbit about local Venetian culture, here's a You Tube video of perhap's Venice's premier musical group, Ska-J, singing one of their earliest hits, Santa Marta. The lead singer, Furio, lives in Santa Marta, and frequents our neighborhood and Campo Santa Margherita often. You cannot miss Furio with that great hair!  It's a catchy little tune, sung in Venetian dialect (with English subtitles included).  Enjoy!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Buon Anno!!!! Happy 2012

(photo taken at Rizzardini's near Campo San Polo)

Happy New Year and Buon Anno to all!!!  

As we were clinking our prosecco glasses at midnight in our apartment, here's what was going on down at St. Mark's square-  

For the last 4 years, the city has sponsored a LOVE fest and countdown to the New Year in St. Mark's square. This year, 70,000 people attended, all kissing in the New Year at midnight, followed by fantastic fireworks over the lagoon.  Kind of like our own version of Times Square New York City!!  

I think 2/3 of these people walked by my apartment on their way out of the city last night between 2-3 am!  Today, all is quiet. It's sunny and the streets are empy, the perfect day for a nice walk.  Later I think I will watch the annual New Year's concert at Teatro La Fenice on TV.  

From our house to yours, Happy 2012 !!!