(April 19, 2014)
Not much to say about today — we had breakfast then drove to Florence, then took the train to Venice. Not much else happened.
A conversation we’ve been having a lot during this trip has revolved around our being amateur art historians. It goes like this: we’ve seen a lot of art of the last few trips, much of it live and in person as it were. At the same time, we’ve had a lot of tour guides give us really good context for what we’re seeing and why its important. So now we recognize artists and we can make linkages between them by time period and other reference points. So, definitely amateur, but maybe its something we can explore and develop.
J. reminds me of a scene in the movie Good Will Hunting in which Damon’s character humiliates a Harvard kid by telling him all the things he is thinking, and should be thinking, and could be thinking, ending with, “and after all of that you’ll realize you just spent $250,000 for an education you could have gotten with a library card and $2 in late fees.” We’re reasonably intelligent people, we’re interested in this art stuff, we have library cards . . . why don’t we get into it more and see what happens?
Personally, I have a strong desire to curate an exhibit that features Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Sargent. I’d call it “Moving Into the Light”. Maybe you can see why?
Our train pulled into Venice St. Lucia and we were promptly met by our guide, Anna. (It’s a service I requested from our hostess, fearing we’d get lost, with luggage making it super irritating). Stepping out we were immediately confronted by water and craziness, but Anna guided us over bridges, through squares, and into alleys and after ~25 mins, we arrived at our new, and last, home in Italy.
With that we had two very important issues to tackle: finding a grocery store and doing laundry. J went out, I stayed in . . . but only long enough to unpack and sort clothing into small piles. It turns out the grocery is just a few ‘streets’ away. So off we went to lay in provisions for breakfast all week and Easter, when pretty much everything would be closed. (Monday too, but less likely.) The shop was mobbed with people doing last-minute holiday prep shopping. Whole types of milk and eggs were gone, produce had been picked over, and there we were two gormless tourists trying to plan to make a meal in a kitchen we’d never cooked in before. Oh, and in another language.
I *think* we came home with tomato sauce, potato gnocchi, cheese, bread, prosciutto, juice, milk, cereal, sparkling water, strawberries, lettuce, shredded carrots, carrots, and eggs. I’ll let you know!
With one load done, we hung it on the line, just like the neighbors, and started a 2nd load this one to be hung indoors in front of the windows. The forecast is for rain tomorrow, so we’re playing it safe. By this time we were hungry, although it was still early. Fortunately, our neighborhood has a ton of places . . . so we went to the closest: Taverna Boffa. With a mix of seafood and regular Italian dishes, the menu was good. I loved their octopus salad and the venetian sardines. Less interesting was the grilled fish — it needed more acid or something, it was too plain. J enjoyed his pasta with tomato sauce.
A short walk home and a bit of a read and off we went to sleep.