Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Thank you! Oh, and Venice...

The last of this round of visitors departed on Tuesday leaving us with very mixed feelings. We've had a wonderful month with three sets of visitors and they've ensured we've seen a lot of Tuscany, enabling us to even venture as far afield as Venice. The kids have been fully entertained and it's only now that we are by ourselves that we've realised how little we had to do while they were all with us! So to everyone who was here - a very, very big THANK YOU for the entertainment, the long (very long!) summer evenings under the grapevines (and if that sounds too idyllic for words, it is!), the prosecco and limoncello, the retirement dreams, the babysitting and kids entertaining but most especially for the incredible friendship and fun we have enjoyed.

Ralph and I were given a wonderful gift of a night away in Venice on Sunday night. Although Venice in August is not to be recommended given that everyone on the planet seems to be there, it is still an incredibly magical place.

Having been there a number of times in the past, we had no need to see the touristy areas, although it is hard to escape them! We found a wonderful restaurant for dinner away from the crowds, though only after a few hours of pushing our way through the hordes trying to find the perfect place. We were determined to eat in a local restaurant but they are very few and far between, especially in the San Marco district which is where our hotel was located. But we were lucky and stumbled across a restaurant (Osteria Al Portego) with no sign outside, no menu pasted on the window and very reasonable, excellent food. Wine was 80c a glass (!!) and our meals were outstanding. The next day we visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum in the Dorsoduro district - a beautiful part of Venice and an area which seemed devoid of anything touristy. We had a fantastic lunch at the restaurant of Hotel Messner, walked back to our hotel, grabbed our bags and headed home.

And now they've gone and life has become very quiet again. We are trying to get back into a routine, but it won't be for long as Mathew and I head over to the UK next week for 10 days on Mum and Dad's canal boat. It should be fun and we are both looking forward to it...and being able to speak English in the shops again! Although I'm not so sure about the weather. We've had 35 plus everyday in Tuscany and virtually no rain for 2 months. London is 16 degrees today and according to is due constant rain for the next week. I may have to hunt out my winter clothing!

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