Italia 2016: Milan to Venice

Italia 2016: Milan to Venice

Five days into our journey!  We arrived in Milan Monday evening after taking the train from the airport to our apartment in Brera, a great neighborhood filled with trendy cafes. We asked for directions from locals on the street to find the obscure address, which I did in Italian. What a victory! The next morning we awoke and ventured around the neighborhood for un caffe (espresso), before our noon train to Venice. As we stumbled upon a gorgeous park, we were hit with “oh my God, we actually did this!”

image

The view from our morning stroll through the park.

The view from our morning stroll through the park.

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco, Milan

Our apartment in Venice was lovely, quiet, with a giant door to a sparsely decorated patio.

image

I had visions of drinking my morning espresso or afternoon vino at the table in the sun, but quickly upon arrival the weather turned quite drizzly. The fresh air was still nice and I unrolled my yoga mat for impromptu sessions.

image

Our second morning I made us a pot of Bialetti espresso with the usual accoutrement, sugar for Eddie. The sugar was in an adorable little cup with a spoon. I sat on the couch sipping caffe and reading my book; Eddie emerged from the shower. He partook in his daily coffee ritual, took a sip and immediately spit it out, violently gagging, coughing and finally threw up (a little).

“Not sugar?” I asked.
“Nope. Salt.”

I “cackled” (his description, not mine) on the couch while he chugged water.

The short list of lessons thus far:

1. Buy a map the moment you arrive in Venice. This place is an absolute maze!
2. Cichetti (small tapas-style noshes served as lunch or happy hour) are the best way to try a dozen bites of local specialties. My favorites were a roasted artichoke base and a baguette toast with thinly sliced cheese (smoked mozzarella possibly?), roasted tomato and anchovy. Eddie preferred a fried eggplant topped with prosciutto and cheese.

Cichetti!  Take your pick!

Cichetti! Take your pick!

Eddie's fried eggplant with prosciutto and cheese.

Eddie’s fav: fried eggplant with prosciutto and cheese.

image

In preparation for a dinner at home Wednesday evening, we ventured into a quaint wine shop for a bottle of rosso (red).

image

Eddie surveyed the selection when I spotted bulk style barrels in the back with signage that offered vino for 2,90 euros. I asked if it would be possible to buy a bottle for this wine? The woman said yes, of course, and ushered us to the far end of the platform. She then pulled an empty liter water bottle from beneath a bench and she and her partner filled it from the barrel. We watched in wonder and pure bliss.

Our vino rosso della casa.

Our sleep schedule is still off and although we went to bed at midnight, we both finally admitted we were still awake at 3am. And starving.

“All I’m thinking about is how many croissants I’m going to eat at breakfast,” Eddie said as we laughed.

We got up to ravage our minuscule food bits from our evening’s dinner: prosciutto, biscuit like salty crackers, wine (from the water bottle) and a Kind bar. Could be worse, huh?

The next morning we jogged along the water and through this beautiful park we discovered the day before. My hands were so swollen from salt (maybe it was the prosciutto and bag of crackers from our 4th meal?!) I could hardly make a fist. None the less, we enjoyed a little sightseeing cardio.

image

image

Here are parting images from our time in Venice.

Caffe la Serra, Viale Guiseppe Garibaldi, 1254 30122 Venezia - Castello

Caffe la Serra, Viale Guiseppe Garibaldi, 1254 30122 Venezia – Castello

image

An Aperol Spritz (Aperol, prosecco and a splash of soda water, garnish with an orange slice)

An Aperol Spritz is THE happy hour pick! Aperol, prosecco and a splash of soda water, garnished with an orange slice.  

image

Next stop Bologna!  Stay tuned!