During Corey’s brief sojourn in Cortona last month, we had a few free extra days to go explore another part of Italy, I came up with the travel destination of Venezia. He had been there before but not since he was six. Time to revisit.
Still not jet lagged after a week in Italy. It was wonderful to step out of the train station into that magical watery wonderland of Venice and to see the amazement on Corey’s face as we boarded the vaporetto, water taxi to take us to our hotel.We headed out on foot immediately after checking in.
I found this antiquities shop and was dying over the objects in the window. The shop never opened the entire time we were there. This shop, the oldest sporting goods store in Venice, was open, and the owner was only too happy to tell us stories about the good old days in Venice. I stumbled upon Paolo Olbi, owner of an artisan legatoria, founded in 1962, where he makes beautiful handmade paper and leather books. I watched him for a while, fascinated with his techniques, and learned a few new tricks too. I walked out with a couple of beautiful small journals to add to my collection of hundreds. Only in Italy do you see lingerie stores like this. Quintessential photo at San Marco with the pigeons.
Every corner you turn in Venice is a new surprise, a delight. Corey says Venice reminds him of one of the handmade books that I create, layers that lead to other layers, frames within frames, endless discovery. Nice observation and a compliement.
We happened upon a gigantic church, that I had a good sense upon what was inside, relying on my memory of it from 20+ years ago. I was right. I asked the ticket taker (it costs 2.50 euro now) if the Foot of Saint Catherine was here. Si signora- in fondo alla destra. Yes, signora, in the back to the right. I was here in 1987 with Rob, Polly and Paolo. We had stumbled upon a painting of Saint Catherine with a reliquary holding her actual foot. No kidding, a foot encased in gold. Polly took one look at her expression in the painting, looked at the gold encrusted foot, turned on the Valley Girl persona and exclaimed:
“Oh MY GOD, they took my foot!” Paolo , Rob and I collapsed into uncontrollable laughter and a very disturbed priest came running over to shoo us out of these very revered space. Molto grave indeed. We have we hashed this story ad infinitum over the years. Imagine my delight to find St. Catherine’s foot again.
That evening, discovered an incredible little restaurant,Luna Sentada, that was quite unusual in appearance and beckoned us in as being far outside the box of the normal trattoria fare. The decor is fantastic – warm, intimate, a mix of Italian and French brocante aesthetic to create an atypical dining atmosphere. Owner Ermanno Sguoto, has traveled the world and brought a fusion of Asian and Venetian cuisine to create some of the best and most unusual food I have ever eaten. He also designed this jewel of a restaurant. We had a wonderful time and with it being off season and the dead of winter, the restaurant was mostly empty, we had Ermanno to ourselves. He generously shared some of his travel adventures with us, his philosophy about food and what he has attempted to create. If you find yourself in Venice, this is a must go to destination, visit the website of Luna Sentada here, and GO!!!
Luna Sentada, Castello 5018 San Severo, 30122, Venice 041 309 7891
I want Ermanno’s sweater. I forgot to ask him where he got it but I found one similar several weeks later in Napoli with Burdean. It did not sing on me, however, so I passed it up.
The end of a delightful and inspiring adventure.
Next stop, Firenze.