Awoke this morning to loud, rolling thunder followed by a soothing, steady rain. The rain never really let up all day, except to pause long enough to build up strength for a downpour.
Undaunted, clad in raingear and armed with an umbrella, we headed out to our first indoor stop: the Palazzo Grassi museum. A large single exhibit--Roma e i Barbari--exploring the relationship of the Romans and the barbarians at the edges of the Empire. Ultimately, these barbarians would weaken and undermine the Empire.
Grabbed a quick bite at a tiny cafe in the Dorsoduro. Simple-but-filling sandwiches chased by Coke Lite and a cappuccino.
Fittingly, sought shelter from the increasing showers in one of the grandest of Venetian basilica--Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari--built by followers of Francis of Assisi--the Franciscan order. Left the Frari as the skies continued to unload. Made our way to two other churches--San Polo and San Stae--but both were closed contrary to our guide map. Back into the rain.
The umbrella and coats became useless at this point as we trudged back across three sestieri to return to our hotel. An evening drink--Nastro Azzurro...birra Italiana--on the hotel loggia as the rain broke, the late sun shone warmly, and a rainbow appeared. Rainbows can't dry our shoes...but this one did make us smile. The air cooled noticeably. The bells of nearby Santa Maria del Rosario heralded the end of the day.
Dinner at a promising new find--Da Silvio--which had a warm glow, a chatty clientelle, and a creative menu. Finding a dinner spot is tricky for us. Once a trust is formed either through a past experience or a referral, then we are more adventurous in ordering. But tonight, for example, with no prior knowledge, we stuck to a pizza and a calzone to test the flavors. Fantastic! My pizze carbonara was rich and flavorful all the way to the crispy crust. Jeff's calzone had layers of mushrooms and ham. Yumminess :). We will definitely return to sample their pastas!
Walked off dinner by taking side routes...popping out at random points on the Grand Canal, which glistened in a near-full moon. Along the way, puddles in the uneven Venetian streets played tricks on our eyes. A quiet end to a moist day.