Martello has pledged to share his reflections of our whirlwind trip to
Now, the most amazing aspect of the entire trip (which occurred nearly two weekends ago) is that Martello and Trofie Wife managed to make the train to Milano. As most readers are fully aware, early rising is not our thing, but with the Architectural Biennale calling, and the threat of weekend overtime the following week hovering over us, we made it happen. Upon arrival in Milano (upon slow, rickety, regional rail), we transferred to a faster moving Intercity train that pulled into
After making our way to the “penthouse” of this tiny hotel, we walked in the direction of the Arsenale (over in the Castello sestiere), where a portion of the Biennale exhibit was being housed. We stopped for an excellent caffè along the way and passed a bunch of great stores to which we hoped to return. Though pressed for time, we had to pause and marvel at the grandeur of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Piazza Ducale, which we knew we would not be able to tour that weekend but vowed to return to before the hordes of summer tourists descended. We explored the Bienniale until they kicked us out of the bookshop well past the close. Martello will likely discuss the exhibits in greater technical and aesthetic detail, but Trofie Wife will merely add that there were a great many clever, socially-conscious pieces that caught her attention such that she was not dying of boredom. After close, we failed while attempting to locate a hot chocolate place that specialized in a non-lactose version, but after having another Venetian hot chocolate later in the evening, realized that it wasn’t too great a loss.
One big downside to
After dinner, we found some excellent, cheap gelato, window shopped while dodging knock-off handbag dealers (Chinatown, 42nd Street, Venice….they’re everywhere!), and magically made it through a long boat ride on Venice’s public transit system without Trofie Wife’s dinner making a reappearance! We returned to our “penthouse” (which was actually a really good, clean deal) to enjoy an American-regulation sized shower, which did have abundant hot water for a spell, though Martello used more than his fair share! Trofie Wife continued binging on English while watching a BBC special on the Obama victory, followed by the weather forecast (British accents are just lovely, no matter what they’re saying!)
For the second day in a row, Martello and Trofie Wife managed to heed the call of the alarm clock and shuttle to breakfast and the train station (for return tickets) prior to trying to maximize their morning and early afternoon. We headed to the Jewish ghetto, which was actually the first of its kind in
We had fun purchasing books in the museum gift shop and adding to our collection of mezuzot at the Judaica shop (we’re really being optimistic that we will return to an apartment in the States that has more than one door!). Most exciting for Martello was his acquisition of a kosher salami sandwich! Upon leaving the ghetto, we first headed to the Rizzoli candy shop for some nougat, then to the Dorsoduro sestire to do a little glass bead shopping. We probably lingered a bit too long, but left with some beautiful items.
Our foolhardiness regarding time continued as we commenced a long boat ride back to the Bienniale site. Sadly for Martello, we picked the wrong portion to see first (the Arsenale, which we toured on Saturday, was actually the smaller gallery), so we had only 30 minutes to view the bulk of this major exhibit. Drill sergeant Trofie Wife managed to get Martello and the camera out of the galleries just a few minutes behind schedule (after not one, but two gift shop stops for books that could have been purchased in one fell swoop had Martello been paying attention) but, alas, we fell victim to another long boat ride (interestingly enough, on the #1, Red Line boat, which, by its name, color coding, and speed (or lack thereof) bore an eerie resemblance to New York’s 1 train) and subsequently missed our train home. We managed to hop on another train back to Milano, but then the fun began. I promised to let Martello tell this portion of the story—even if it means that it will arrive in time to be a stocking stuffer or the content of the dreidel pot. But just know that this tale involves labor unrest, “delightful” detours, and popcorn made with MSG.
In closing, Trofie Wife would like to take a moment to give a big shout out to
Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie Wife