Italy Day 1. After sitting on a bus all day with 50 other young tourists like myself, I was ready to hop off and paint the town of Venice. We only had a few hours to spend in the famously romantic and water-way filled town. Thus, our time spent was jam-packed.
First, a walking tour...Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square), the Campanille, churches, palaces, waterways, old buildings, the Rialto bridge, boats...oh yes, and lots of pigeons, tourists, and HOOOOTTT weather.
I very much enjoyed stumbling upon some vibrant produce stands in Venice...
We also took a little gondola ride complete with bubbling Italian champagne (Prosecco) and peach bellinis! Too bad that our boat guide did not sing for us; actually he did seem to enjoy his job very much at all...so much for romantic, eh? Apparently though, these men are the only men who can paddle and steer with one oar standing up. Neat.
I was feeling much more relaxed after the gondola ride and a few glasses of bubbly. The sun was setting and the air was still and slightly cooler. While the rest of the group when off to an extravagant dinner, I ducked out with these two lovely ladies to have our own quiet meal.
We were hungry! Having not really eaten much all day, I was ready to chow down Italian-style. And yes, our table had red and white checkered table cloths.
The ladies ordered two kinds of pasta: simple spaghetti al pomodoro and a penne al pesto.
I ordered a pizza margherita which is pretty much a cheese pizza with tomato and basil. They were not too generous with the basil, but it was still very good. Simple.
They brought the pizza out as an entire pie, uncut. I had to cut it myself, which was actually quite fun. Except for a few pieces that I made my dining companions taste, I easily finished the whole thing and felt extremely satisfied. And I still had room for tiramisu and a coffee.
What a treat to finish off a meal with a milky frothy espresso. Mmm so decadent and so perfect.
You know that I like what I am eating when I am moaning out loud...and this tiramisu hit the spot. It was not your typical tiramisu made with marscarpone cheese. Instead, it had ice cream between the layers of espresso soaked lady fingers. Nevertheless, this was bellisimo. Grazie!
NOTE: In Italy, one must pay for water and bread when dining out at a restaurant. Also, one must ask for the bill, the waiter will never come back unless you ask. And tipping? One euro is sufficient, apparently it is seen as strange if a larger tip is left.