Cicchetti & The Return Of The Flying Tomato

Allora! So… we’re three days into this tour (the first two were travelling down from London to Venice via Turin. This blog post is a sort of mash-up of events from that period.

On Sunday we set off on the 08:01am Eurostar and were in Turin just over 12 hours later.

Turin is one of my favourite Italian cities. The problem since it is a transit hub I never get to stay there for more than one night. A pity, since this underrated city is a great place for a long weekend break.

The next morning we headed off to Venice on my old friend, the Flying Tomato. The Italian high speed FrecciaRossa trains are arguably the best in Europe and their cheerful red colour always brightens my day. They are not such good news for bugs however and the front of most of them is like a commercial for screen wash. There are a lot of flies and mosquitoes in Italy, but there are a lot less when the FrecciaRossa has passed by.

I always enjoy watching my clients when they get off the train at Venezia Santa Lucia station. At the end of the platform you walk straight into the Grand Canal and that first sight smacks you in the face with exactly where you are.

Walking out of Venice Station as the sun sets.

That was yesterday (Day 2) and this morning after a private boat transfer we enjoyed a guided tour of Venezia with our excellent Local Guide Cinzia (Cynthia). I’m not going to post too many Venice photos of the obvious stuff here. God knows, there are tens of millions on the internet so if you want Basilica, Piazza San Marco & Rialto bridge then Google is your friend. After the guided tour my clients had a free afternoon and evening to explore at leisure (and eat ice cream).

Antonio Vivaldi was born in the house on the right and baptised in the church on the left.

One of the things that many people don’t quite appreciate about Venice is that everything, but everything has to come in by boat and then be hand carried to destination. I grabbed some photos of some of the service boats working today.

Finally we get to… Cicchetti (plural, if there’s just one of them it’s a Cicchetto). These are tapas/pinchos like snacks that are catnip for the Venetians. They’ll stop of at these tiny traditional places that serve them with a glass of wine or an aperitif after work. Our hotel is directly opposite on of the very best. There is a permanent queue in place and a a noisy hubbub, Very few chairs and tables along with a crowded venue mean that you may have to take your drink and Cicchetti and sit on the church steps, which I did. At 1 Euro each they are the most affordable meal in Venice.

I’ll return for dinner in about half an hour and then an early night. I have bags to check early tomorrow as we take the Flying Tomato onwards to Firenze (Florence).

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