To Market in Venice and a Gondola Ride

The next morning we again enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel.  These little cakes looked so good, but I didn’t pick on up.  I had already grabbed too much!
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This was our last full day in Venice so we wanted to hit up a few more key spots, mostly over the Rialto bridge to the market.  On the way we discovered how things get delivered in a city on the water.
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From there we could spot the Rialto Bridge in the distance and looked for the best path to find the bridge.  When you get closer you can easily follow the signs.
We passed by all new food locations since we had not explored this area yet.
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Next up was a stroll over the bridge.  I love how this bridge looks!
Here are some views of the Grand Canal from the bridge.
See, I was really here!
As we got closer to the market, we passed many fun shops too, selling all colors and shapes of pasta.
Here are many pictures of the produce and then fresh fish at the Venice market.  This was a beautiful market and I wish I lived near a market like this.
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I finally got to sneak in a shot of some Venetian masks.  Most places have signs up stating no photography.  I got ones that were a bit smaller because I had no idea how I was going to transport them.
Then it was back to the produce.
Check this out!
More pretty produce.
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Next up we have the fish and seafood.
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Here you can see how large the produce market is, followed by a small portion of the fish tent.
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Here is some branzini, which we know from eating at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.  Also, here is a ray.
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They even had some bread and cookies at one of the shops.
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Then we continued walking after the market, but it was too early for lunch, even though these little sandwiches looked good.  Have no fear, we came back for some later.
Here is a picture down one of the canals.
Lots of fun and old buildings.  Venice is an amazing city.  It is a crazy idea.  I love how quiet it is here because there are no cars or motorized vehicles.  The alley ways are so quiet.
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Lunch was at a small trattoria.  We picked it because it looked cute, but mostly because it was starting to drizzle.
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We started with bread and I had a salad with my 3 course meal (a vegetarian menu meal).
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Ryan went with the meat lasagna, and I had cheese and spinach ravioli.
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My meal ended with a final course tomatoes and mozzarella.  Yum!
Nope, we did not get ice cream after this, but I did stop to take a picture.
Oh, but we did grab some tiny sandwiches on the way back towards the hotel.  I had gorgonzola and jam, and Ryan had some with meat.
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Since we knew the weather was supposed to get bad (it never really did despite the reports), we went for a private gondola ride.  Thankfully we talked the gondoliers down.
Here are some buildings from the ride.  I wish I could remember more about what each was.  I think this was the former house of someone important and now is a bank.
Here we are approaching the Rialto Bridge.
Getting closer…
You are supposed to kiss under the bridge for good luck, so it is a good thing we did.  Then I took a picture of the underneath.
Here is our gondolier.
How crazy is it that doors and streets go right into the water.  Let me just say that this can be very interesting for newbies in town, when it is dark at night, and there is some wine involved.  Yep, very interesting indeed!
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After about 30 minutes, our ride was over, but it was well worth it.
While we were on the gondola we thought that the area here, despite being a tourist trap (with the possibility of bad food as a trade off for the view) was a nice idea because you really just could not beat the view.  Dining along the Grand Canal just seemed like the thing to do for our last night, and so we did go back after a short rest to eat dinner.  We selected a place based on menu, availability of an open table right next to the water, and a nice display case of fresh fish.  Florida beat out the others. 
I will say that when we asked about a table outside next to the canal (they were about 3 deep so only 1 table in each row was actually on the water) required the purchase of 2 appetizers and 2 entrees.  They were a little rude about this requirement and at first told us we were not allowed, but we asked again, and asked if we could make a reservation for the table we saw open, and that is when they said we had to order a certain amount.  Honestly, I understand.  Someone could sit there order a coffee and stay all night in that prime location.  It is a business and I really understand that this is something they have in place for a reason (and a reason I can understand and agree with).  No big deal as we planned on that anyway, plus a bottle of wine.  You always pay for the good real estate!
Here I am sitting right there on the Grand Canal.   
Later in the meal I learned why this may not be the best place to sit.  Check out the next picture and see why.
Yes, this is a police boat speeding by.  As a result, the usually quiet water of the canal became quite disturbed and shook all the docks, sending waves of water up over the edge and spilling onto the ground where our feet and my purse was located.  At least I realized early on this might happen and quickly grabbed my purse.  This was a good thing because the whole area under our table was flooded.  The served did come around and squeegee most back out into the canal.

Here you can see the set up of the canal-side dining.  All these restaurants made little dining areas similar to this one.
For dinner, we ordered the mussels and caprese (tomatoes and mozzarella) salad.  The intent was to share, but because I forgot to ask, we discovered only after it came to the table that there was chicken in the broth.  Ryan stuck with the mussels and I enjoyed the salad.
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All restaurants serve bread, but just remember they will charge you for this.  Since we live in Europe we are used to this, but we found in Italy they charge a lot more.  Often it was 2.50 Euro per person, and they call this a cover charge (we say couvert on the island).  This is a fee for the table, with the bread included in that.  I have no idea if they still charge even if you pass on the bread, as we took the bread every time.
Ryan and I both got the same entree for dinner.  This was a fish called branzino, and it a light, flaky, white fish.  It was served in an awesome traditional Mediterranean sauce with tomatoes and black olives.  This dish was so good!
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The evening ended with a stroll back to the hotel.
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Obviously the night would not have been complete without stopping for a gelato on the way to the room.
That was our amazing time in Venice.  This is a city not to be missed.  Next up, we head to Florence.

QUESTIONS: What is your ideal location for vacation?  Have you ever paid a "premium" for a dining location?


Unknown said...

HAHA Melinda produce :)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

How romantic!! I am sooo jealous. My ideal location for vacation is...well.. Venice!! I'm sure Nick and I would absolutely love it. And yes, I agree, a market like that within walking distance would be simply amazing. I would seriously buy a bike with a basket on it and go get fresh produce and protein every single day. Oh to live near the Mediterranean....

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