Dog Envy

I wake up much earlier than necessary to the smell of more croissants. Breakfast in Venice is a daily dose of deliciousness and right after our nutella fest, we head out to make the most of the sunshine. We walk over to Cannaregio, to the Jewish Quarter and check out the Ghetto Nuevo. It definitely feels a bit more claustrophobic than some other parts of town and the watchtowers are an eerie reminder of it’s dark past. We take a quick stroll, check out some of the local galleries and Judaieca and purchase a cute little canvas of Venice at Passover which makes a marvellous momento.

We stroll our way through a number of neighbourhoods, go on another great toilet hunt and work up quite an appetite. We decide it’s Cicheti time and make our way to All’Arco for a glass of Prosecco and what is reputedly the best cicheti in town. There’s no menu because Francesco and his son Matteo invent the dishes daily with their purchases from the Rialto Market. We have no idea what we’re eating but it’s totally delicious. We have to go back for second helpings – this is just too good to resist.

Yesterday was the gondola, today is the traghetti. This isn’t for the faint hearted;  it’s the commuter-gondola service locals use when they want to cross the canal and there isn’t a bridge nearby. It’s cheap as chips at 50 cents a pop and it’s a bit of a balancing act, as one is expected to stand for the entirety of the journey. As David and I are the only passenges on this  cross-canal voyage, I get to sit down but David braves the boat and stands tall. That’s what you call core stability!

We spend some time browsing round the shops and then stop for some more liquid refreshement and some mini panini at another local bar. There’s more exploring over bridges, through the islands of Venice and later we head Castello way to sit with the locals and listen to gossip italiano over a nice cup of coffee.

Late afternoon we take a siesta, and head out early evening back to our favourite bar Al Merca for last chance spritz! The bar is the ultimate small bar, the bar itself being in a little alcove inside, and all the drinking outside on the piazza. There’s no inside to speak of except the counter and the bottles behind it!

Venice has a whole lot of bridges, canals and… dogs. Big ones, small ones, cute ones, ugly ones, fat ones, skinny ones – all breeds in all places. Pretty amazing when you consider they live in a town with no parks and probably no gardens and the dogs look like they’re the happiest canines in the world. Wouldn’t you be, if you lived in Venice? These days I’m feeling so poody (poody = a strong desire to have a dog of ones’ own) and have been in the grip of some serious dog envy! Tonight is no exception, at the bar tonight, a cute pug (I know that seems like a paradox, but this canine really is super cute) and it’s playmate are running amock. One day I’ll have a dog to take to the pub. One day, my dog will come!

After some spritz, we go to Ae Oche for dinner. David has the mother of all calzones and I have a wicked diet pizza (is that a pizza paradox?) without cheese! The menu is so extensive, it’s hard to choose. It’s just as well, we’re leaving Venice tomorrow, before our waistlines get any wider!