Gabrielle ann Ivana
Moving day already! The rules of engagement required us to be out by 10:00 so Earl set his alarm and had us up at 7:30. By shortly after 8:00 we were dressed and pretty much packed. We finished up the bread and cheese for breakfast and had the car packed and were ready to go by about 9:45. I walked across to the clothing store and told Gabrielle we were ready for his inspection of the house. We got back the security deposit with no questions and he and Ivana came over to wish all of us good-bye. We were on the road shortly after 10:00 with me driving and Earl navigating. The weather was intermittent rain. By the time we got to Arezzo the rain pretty much stopped but it remained cloudy until we neared Venice.
Earl took over driving at a rest stop between Bologna
and Venice so I could navigate. After getting gas, we dropped the car at the Venice airport and walked what seemed like miles to the water taxi but were quickly on our way for the high-speed trip to Venice itself. What a treat it was to fly across the bay, along the Grand Canal and then wander through the narrower side canals, eventually stopping at a set of steps just a few meters from a small, virtually unmarked gate that was the entrance to our hotel, Oltre di Giardino. We arrived at about 2:30 and were greeted by Elena, a charming young lady who showed us to our mini suites on the second (third to Americans) floor. This former house has only 6 guest rooms and is absolutely delightful.
Vittorio and Patrizia
I didn't realize it until I started preparing this web page but it was actually the home of Alma Mahler, wife of the famous composer! The others wanted to rest but I could not wait to have a look around so I wandered off alone, hoping I’d be able to find myself back through the maze of tiny streets and canals. Actually, it was not as difficult to find my way back as I feared. Eventually I sought out Linda and together we went for a slice off pizza and some ice cream.
After chilling for an hour or two, we showered and dressed for dinner with our very dear friends, Vittorio and Patrizia who had traveled from their home in Milan just to be with us. As previously arranged, they met the four of us in the hotel at 7:30. Dinner was at Harry’s Bar near Piazza St.
St. Mark's Basilica
Marco. To get there, we took the ferry or Vaporetto but to get to the Vaporetto stop, we had a nice walk together through the narrow streets with narrative by Vittorio. At Piazza St. Marco, we strolled first through this imposing square, one of the most famous and beautiful in the world, then circled back around to Harry’s which, interestingly enough, originated in Venice. Lin and I both started with tagliatelle with a white sauce and ham and, for the main course had veal picatta. Both were absolutely wonderful and Vittorio was, as always, a gracious and engaging host. Patrizia put in a special effort since she speaks little English but does understand it. In spite of this, she was an excellent hostess and we really appreciated the sacrifice she made to have dinner with us. While all of us enjoyed ourselves immensely, it was extra special for me as Vittorio and I have been friends for many years and, though our business relationship has changed, our friendship has not. After dinner, we took the vaporetto back to the dock at San Tomá and walked to the hotel. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep well but I think it was due to the excitement; what a great time we had!
Venice Hotels & Accommodations review
Tiny, secluded, perfect!
I'd never have found this had it not been for my friend, Vittorio. We took a water taxi from the airport and when he pulled up, I thought he'd either… read entire review