Venice, Italy

I spent the last few months traveling from London to Beijing. Here is a taste of one place we spent time. Follow the links to read about others.

October 25th- 27th, 2005

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After leaving the chestnut farm in France John and I spent a few days in Venice with my uncles from Chicago who were also visiting at that time.  All over Venice are businesses where for a few euro you can fill up empty bottles with very decent wines right from the barrels.  This inexpensive option combined with lovely weather made for some excellent picnics.

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We enjoyed prosciutto and various delicious cheeses.  A few months ago Alberto from Il Forno mentioned a cheese, Caciocavalli, in a top ten list of Italian foods to try.  With such a recommendation I could hardly pass up the opportunity to try some. 

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This cheese (on the right) had a more subtle flavor than I was expecting, though it was bold and delicious hidden just beneath a truly buttery texture.  This was a great cheese and I would love to try more varieties of it in the future. 

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With so much cheese we naturally sought out breads as well.  The best bakery we found in Venice was Mauro El Forner de Canton, where for under four euro we purchased 2 Grissini Naturalli, 1 Ciabette, and 1 Pane con olive.

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Everything was excellent.  Unfortunately we also tried another bakery nearby, Panificio F. Paronuzzi  where we bought Strudel con Olive e Formaggio.  We were lured in by what seemed to be appealing breads, but were rock hard, dry, crumbly, and made with limp and lifeless olives.   But it looked so beautiful!

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We stayed in Marghera, just outside the city, in cheaper lodgings than we could find in the center.  While it was sort of a pain to take the bus in each day, we did have the opportunity to enjoy the Piccolo Lounge Cafe.  One of the best things we ate here were little morning donuts made of lightly sweetened bread and filled with a fine and smooth, sugary-sweet apple filling.  Delicious.

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One other fun find was this salt bearing my first name.  I have never met another Gemma in the states, so it is always fun to see my name in print.

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Next stop, Rome.

Rome, Italy

Ardèche, France