From Venice to Verona

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May 1st 2015
Published: May 2nd 2015
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This morning it was time to pack our bags again after two nights in the very well located, but very small Ca 'dei Dogi. Definitely one of the smallest rooms we have ever stayed in with only about a metre of space on one side of the bed (the other side of the bed being right against the wall) and maybe only about 60 centimetres at the foot of the bed. The shower was amazing though with two shower heads to choose from and body jets!! Getting out of the shower without scraping against the basin or the bidet was a challenge though.

It's a public holiday again today in Italy, this time for May Day which is equivalent to our Labor Day. The holiday doesn't seem to have made any difference to the vaporetto timetable so we are still able to get around without any trouble. Bernie checked the internet last night and thought that we would be OK to visit the Galleria dell'Academia. We took the vaporetto across the canal and disembarked at the galleria pontoon. Oh dear, all the doors were closed. We commiserated with some teachers who were there with a group of students. They had also checked the web site and were very surprised to find the galleria closed. Some other tourists rang the doorbell and were told that the galleria would not open until 1.30pm this afternoon. Bugger, that's about the time we need to be heading to the station to catch our train to Verona!

We walked along to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, which we were going to visit after the Galleria della'Academia, hoping that it would be open this morning. Yes, it was. After yesterday's experience at the Correr Museum we bi-passed the ticket queue and went straight to the entry. Nope, got it wrong again! It turns out that our Venice Pass only entitles us to a discount at this venue so we had to go to back to the ticket office to pay the discounted amount!!

The museum is one of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The museum presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection, masterpieces from the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection, the Gianni Mattioli Collection and the Nasher Sculpture Garden. At present it is has a temporary exhibition featuring the work of Jackson Pollock and his older brother Charles.

The exhibition focuses on Jackson Pollock’s Mural which was painted in 1943 and given to the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City in 1951. The painting has just undergone 18-months of conservation and cleaning at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles. Mural is the largest painting Pollock created and it has influenced American art down to the present day. Commissioned in the summer of 1943 by Peggy Guggenheim for her New York townhouse, Mural established a new sense of scale and audacity for the Abstract Expressionist movement, and was a forerunner to the ‘poured’ abstractions that Pollock would begin four years later. I guess we found a Jackson Pollock exhibition somewhat relevant given that his painting Number 11, 1952, which is better known as Blue Poles, was purchased amid controversy by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973 and today remains one of the gallery's major paintings.

After the museum we explored some of the small canals on that side of the Grand Canal and then made our way back to San Marco Zaccaria to have a quick lunch and collect our bags before taking our last journey aboard the vaporetto to the train station. As usual we allowed extra time to get to the station so we decided we could have a drink while we waited. We sat down at some tables that were supposed to have waiter service. So we waited and we waited and we waited; maybe there isn't a waiter working on May Day? After about 15 minutes Bernie went in and ordered our drinks at the bar.

Of course, just as he put them on the table the stupid waiter turned up and told us you can only consume beverages at the tables if you have ordered them from him - you can't bring your own drinks from the bar even though that's where he would have been bringing them from!!?? Bernie pointed out that he hadn't been available to order from and I gave him a withering look. So we sat there and finished our drinks. Like we could move elsewhere with all our luggage and our drinks! I was hoping he would come back and tell us to move on again because I was feeling a bit tired and grumpy and felt like a bit of a fight with a supercilious twerp of a waiter!!

Trenitalia was running right on time again today and had us in Verona by 4.30pm in the afternoon. We towed our bags to the Best Western hotel and had ourselves checked in by about 5.00pm. So much more space than we have had for the last two nights!! And so much cheaper here in Verona.

We headed out to familiarise ourselves with the old city which was only about five minutes away o foot. Once again Bernie has booked us in to some really well located accommodation. When we arrived in the old section of the city we were confronted with tents set up all around the Arena, the Roman theatre that is still used to stage concerts today. There were signs up announcing that the 'Wings for Life World Run' will be starting from the Arena on Sunday.

Although it was much earlier than we have been eating, we decided that we might as well have our dinner while we were in the Old City rather than walk back to the hotel and then go out again for a meal. It hasn't been raining this afternoon, but it was quite cold. We found al fresco seats at the Caffè al Teatro. More a bar than a restaurant it had a fairly extensive drinks menu, but a meals menu limited to pizza and pasta. That was OK, we both decided that some lasagne would go down really well.

I asked for a red wine and our very gay waiter wanted to know what sort of red. I put it back on him and asked for the one that he thought would go best with the lasagne! He seemed very happy to take on the responsibility for bringing me the right red to go with the lasagne. Bernie asked for a beer and the waiter shook his head and said no, no, not with the lasagne, beer is only good with pizza. Bernie assured him that he would drink the beer and then order a red to go with the lasagne! We had some bar snacks - crisps, olives, corn chips and salsa - to go with Bernie's beer while we waited for our lasagne to arrive.

The lasagne was very good and, since we hadn't had any gelato today, I ordered an affogato (ice-cream and coffee) for dessert while Bernie just settled on another glass of red. I'm very partial to an affogato when it is on the menu at home so I thought that I should give one a try while in Italy, I'm pretty sure they invented it?! O-M-G, it came out in a tall glass with a tinsel decoration, a long spoon, a straw and whipped cream on top. I didn't know if I was supposed to eat it or drink it. Although it was on the dessert menu it was actually more like an iced coffee. And it was delicious ... even if it did have about 6,000 calories in it!!

It was just as well that my steps for today were up to 14,809 (10.09 km)

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4th May 2015

Just a question - am I following Tracey & Bernie's adventures OR am I trapped in a Steven C-Gull saga??? Whatever - I'm enjoying the 'great escape'. Caroline
4th May 2015

Sea Gulls
Hi Caroline, The sea gull photos are a bit of an in-joke between Bernie and his brother. Michael (Bernie's brother) has posted a few sea gull close encounters on Facebook so Bernie is responding in kind. Cheers, Tracey

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