My third day in Venice started at the crack of dawn for a little running tourism with Venice by Run. Following the instructions I'd been given via email, I made my way to Campo San Bartolomeo at 6:50am. The city was completely deserted and it was a special thrill to be out at that hour, like I was on a secret mission of some sort. Arriving at the meeting point, I immediately spotted my guide Giulia (not hard because she was the only other person around and we were wearing nearly identical neon pink jackets). I couldn't believe it!
If you enjoy running and are in Venice, I can't recommend this enough. You get to experience the major tourist points of the city with nobody else around, plus a wealth of information about the history and culture, and all the insider tips you could hope for about where to eat and drink and hang out like a local...not to mention a good workout!
After the run, I had breakfast and then went out for my daily wander. This piece of street art caught my eye on the way to Accademia. What a complicated relationship tourism destinations have with tourists. Can't stand them, can't manage to live without them.
It started raining again, and I eventually made my way to the Peggy Guggenheim museum to take refuge from the dreary weather. I found much inspiration in the collection (which I will share in another post) but one of the things that I most loved seeing was this group of children touring the museum. So important to expose young people to art!
I had a Table for One lunch at the museum cafe (an easy solo lunch, especially since I sat at a bar with a window seat). I enjoyed a salad with red radicchio from Treviso, pecorino cheese, and walnuts plus the ubiquitous bread basket that accompanies all meals in Italy. The courtyard view and people watching made it a truly enjoyable meal.
After the museum visit, I went wandering again. As I learned in my morning run with Giulia, there are a few campos in Venice that still remain true to the roots of that word: small fields/patches of vegetation in a courtyard square.
I continued my walk along the Zattere, the old timber delivery area of the city that is now a spacious promenade with breathtaking views. This decorated crane caught my eye - I wonder what it is used for, and whether it is common practice to decorate industrial machinery in Venice.
Around the corner from the Zattere is a gondola building workshop housed in a very old building, even for Venice standards. I love the collection of hats on the wall.
One of the things I really wanted to do while in Venice was eat cichetti (local version of tapas) and have a spritz (local preferred happy hour drink). The famous Cantine del Vino già Schiavi was nearby the gondola workshop and absolutely packed with people, so I ducked in and made my way to the counter.
The small bar and bottle shop didn't disappoint with its ambience or selection of cichetti. I tried two bruschetta-style toasts: one with creamed cod and the other with egg salad topped with edible flowers. And of course an aperol spritz. I enjoyed eavesdropping on multiple conversations while having my happy hour treats.
I had time for one more stop in the afternoon, so I headed to the Cà Rezzonico, an absolutely impressive palazzo that houses the museum of 18th century Venice. My jaw dropped at the luxury of the architecture and interior furnishings, starting with the internal courtyard in the entryway.
At Cà Rezzonico I saw perhaps the most lavish and intricate chandelier I've ever set eyes on. That glasswork and colors and flowers!! Surreal.
There are three floors of priceless art at the palazzo, but the piece that stood out the most for me was this marble bust of a veiled woman by Antonio Corradini (1725). How on earth can somebody create such perfection from stone? That drapery is so perfect and gauze-like and yet you can still see her expression underneath. Unreal.
After viewing all the old masters at the palazzo, I had to rush back across the city to the Teatro la Fenice for a concert I'd purchased a ticket for prior to leaving the US (seemed like a guaranteed good activity for a solo traveler). I shared a box seat with a German lady and and a very funny older Italian woman whose daughter was playing trumpet in the orchestra. Definitely a worthwhile experience, and a stellar way to end my third day in Venice.