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  • gloria139

After wine and castles, we land in Venice .. and we are very happy

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Cyn and I kept to our pledge to purchase some local wines - Soave, Amarone, Valpolicello - before we left Verona by searching out the wine store we had visited on our tour the day before. We failed in that effort … but found the guy’s brother who ran a similar store and was happy to help us. After shlepping seven bottles back to our car, we bought coffee - why, why, why can the Italians not make a decent cup of Joe? It is always lukewarm and tasteless and I make a much better pot at home - and croissants and hit the road for Venice.

Our first stop was at the Ca Rugate winery. It was 12:30 pm when we arrived, which is closing time for lunch/siesta, but the nice young lad (who had lived for a year in Vancouver) gave us a tasting of some delicious wine and we walked away with four bottles - some sparkling and some more Amarone.

Then we drove to the ‘castles of Romeo and Juliet‘ which are set on adjacent hills at Montecchio Maggiore. These were built by the della Scalla family (the same folks mentioned in the blog post about Verona) in the 1300s and have little to do with the romantic story except that they may have inspired the work that inspired Shakespeare.

They are incredibly magnificent, even in ruins. And the view of the Italian countryside from the top of the mountain where they are situated is spectacular.

There is also a little chapel which seems to have been used by Italian troops during WWII.

Then it was on to Venice.

As you probably know, no cars are allowed in the city, so we parked in an indoor lot because we did not want the wine we had just bought to boil in the sun for three days, and tried to figure out how to get to our AirBNB. The water bus we were supposed to take was not working because the drivers are on strike, and we thought we would have to walk for 40 minutes with our luggage. But we stumbled upon a water taxi and it essentially brought us right to our door.

This AirBNB is amazing. It has been in the same family for generations. It is on one of the main streets of Venice, on the second and third floors above a restaurant. Two bedrooms, two baths, great kitchen and living room for less than $400 CAD for three days. And a washing machine and dryer and bathtub!!! We are in heaven.

And we are kind of pinching ourselves because … we are in Venice! It is so unbelievably beautiful with the canals and the bridges. I can’t wait to explore tomorrow.

Tonight we followed Venice tradition and stopped at four different bars and had drinks in each accompanied by ciccetti, which are small, open-faced sandwiches of infinite variety.

Some were topped with salmon, some were topped with fish, some were topped cheese and anchovies, some were fried. It was quite delicious - washed down with wine or Aperol Spritz or Negroni. Here is some what we had in each of the four places.

Finally it was back to out great flat for a continuation of the cribbage rivalry - Cyn won both games - and off to bed to rejuvenate for a great tour tomorrow.

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