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!