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Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Original Venezia - day 01

Reading Time    |    8 min 44 sec.

I still couldn't believe that I was in Venice this summer, it was a magical and romantic adventure for my husband and me. We began our day in Venice by landing in the afternoon. We waited for more than 45 minutes for a boat ride to the old city, where all the canals and gondola existed!

I was very excited and passionate. Venice is one of the loveliest towns that I'd like to visit at least once in my life. 

It was a long time ago since the first time I've heard about Venice. Then I discovered and watched Aria, where the setting is similar to Venice, but they named it Neo Venezia, the paradisiacal water city in Aria. It is the ideal planet to live based on my viewpoint. The environment, the characters and the magic of the town. I know it's only in Aria, but Venice is real, and it must be a different story.

I didn't survey excessively about Venice because I want to make my adventure my own, so I didn't want to pill up on misleading expectations. I want to experience Venice to its fullest, enjoy every minute and appreciate this charming old city with all my soul. 

Left was taken in our flight and right was when we waited for the boat ride.

Alilaguna runs the water bus we took from the airport to Venice city. We reserved our stay near Guglie, so we took the Linea Arancio to Santa Maria del Giglio. We purchased our tickets at the ticket machine at the airport, it's manageable, don't worry.

We stay in Cannaregio, it's a bit outside the city centre. Cannaregio is a more quiet part of Venice; it is not crowded and suits our nature because we prefer to stay in a more calm neighboorhood for our vacation. With just a few minutes of walk, there're many cafes, restaurants and stores to look at!

The picture above is the first picture captured by my husband at the boat terminal end. This was before the check-in to our Airbnb. The main reason why I carried a jacket was that the weather was a bit cold in the UK, so I had to put one before my flight.

After we checked-in to our Airbnb, we decided to find something for lunch. The summer sun was shining splendidly, but since it was in early summer, we didn't encounter the heatstroke yet. The weather in Venice was different from the UK; this was the real summer experience.

Traditional Venetian pastry, wanna try?

The early summer in the UK this year was a bit cold for me, lol. I still remember the first day when I've arrived; the weather shifted drastically in a few days. I couldn't handle the frigid feeling until this autumn, and my body has gradually sought to fit in the climate.

While we browsed through different restaurants on the street, we attracted by a free champagne offer. /shame/

I didn't have any preference at that moment. All I craved to do was exploring the city, but we need to eat or else, we could be possibly undergo indigestion. I didn't want our lovely trip ruined by a modest error. We wanted to pick what to eat quickly, and so we chose this Italian restaurant, basically because they offered us two complimentary champagne. lol

Fortunately, the champagne was satisfying.

I couldn't resist Champagne!

When you sit in a restaurant in Italy, be prepared to pay for a Coperto. Coperto is like a charge where the restaurant put to pay a per-person fee, it means cover charge. I don't remember, but I think it's 2 euro per person if I'm not mistaken.

My husband ordered spaghetti Aglio olio with clams. 

Mine was Penne with Salmon and tomatoes, too bad the salmon wasn't fresh. I have a sharp sense of taste, so when the waiter served my course, I knew right away that this was not fresh because of the smell.

The waiter asked me about the food, and of course, I told him the truth. I didn't ask for compensation or made a fuss of it. I just wanted them to put more attention and quality of their food for their own advantage. The pasta was Al-dente, they were lovely, except mine because the smell of the salmon had put me off. In the end, I didn't eat all the salmon cubes and let them take care of that. The chef was pretty defensive, but my intention was good. 😌

After we finished paying for the food, we began our exploration. We didn't use any map, so we could enjoy the moment and be in the present as much as possible. I think this way we could treasure and appreciate what we've encountered on our trip. Sometimes we saw something unique on the street as well, such as the routine of the local people and their household habits. I find them inspiring and widen my understanding of people from different cities.

Venice's street is composed of many small alleys, bridges, canals, and footpaths. There's no wheeler on the island, or presumably, I didn't see one. It's a perfect place if you'd like to explore the city on foot.

Flowers grow throughout the window and wall is a common thing you'll notice here. It's not exquisite like what I've seen in Montmartre, but still a delightful view for me in summer.

Enchanting view from the bridge.

The picture above, and below, shows how people hang their laundry; I find it cute and inspiring. I think the garments will dry very quickly, and I'm considering to do the same now. lol

Early summer in Venice.

Small road in Venice.

You can see how narrow is the alley here, but it doesn't matter, because I've discovered many interesting things here.

People in Venice use small boat or gondola for their transportation back then, but now they are mainly used for tourist attraction or racing.

When I was strolling in Venice on my first day, as I have seen the environment, building, and vibes of the city, I suddenly recalled all the paintings I have seen about Venice. When I was young, I have a notable interest in fine art, from there where I have discovered this floating city. I became attached to this city where I've seen in the paintings of all my favourite artists.

As my curiosity became bigger and bigger, the fast world advancement of technology - 'the internet' presented its performance all around the world. With easier access, I've gathered all the information about this city lagoon and its existence. Then here I am now, realising that it wasn't a dream after all. I have visited the town of canals in my dream, and I will never forget it. I think I've left a small part of my old soul in Venezia.

We dropped by a cafe named Majer and got gelato and pizza to take away. I ordered the double scoops on a waffle cone which I aware that the price differs from the single one. However, they charged me with a single price; I always review my bill, so I noticed. I was flustered and went back to the cashier to verify this, but he said that it was a gift for a beautiful girl. Lol, it made me blush, but the thing is we got a free scoop of gelato on a crisp waffle! How lucky!

I got the pistachio and hazelnut flavour, the gelato was deliziosa! No wonder people say you must try the gelato in Italy. I approve! 🤤

Majer is a typical Italian cafe that serves coffee, gelato, pizza and other pastry. They have many shops in Venice, but the one I accidentally visited holds a high rating. It is near our accommodation, so if you perhaps by chance in that area, you should check it out.

One slice of tuna pizza I got from Majer, can you see all the generous toppings? This was a bit spicy but really tasty!

After our relaxing shower, we quickly changed our clothes and went out again to see the sunset. Suddenly there were heavy rain and wind, more likely like a mild storm. We ran back to our room, thinking about what to do next because we couldn't go out anymore.

A few hours later, we found ourselves waking up in the middle of the night. We both felt quite hungry but didn't want to have something big like a full meal. I was uncertain whether we could find a restaurant/cafe where still open at that time.

When it's summertime, wear anything short.

I opened my google map, trying to find something to eat and found a Crepe shop near our stay. Wow, that was a relief. Then I clicked the direction sign and checked that it just a ten minutes walk from our lane. My husband didn't have any idea, but he was hungry and wanted to eat. I grabbed my oversized light blue ripped jeans jacket and said, "let's go", then he quickly tied his shoes, and joined me.

We held hands and walked beneath a beautiful moonlight. The moon shone really gaudy that night as if wanted to flare a soft beam on our steps that night because the streets were so dark. The splashes of water left from the heavy rain touched my ankles. The cold night breeze blew slowly in our footsteps and kissed my ears gently.

We glanced to the left and saw the store we were looking for. It was located on the opposite side of the water. Hence, we had to climb some stairs to reach the shop. The name is Cocaeta, a little crepe store in Venice that I'll never forget.

It was really dark that night, but we didn't feel threatened. I think Venice is quite safe, you just have to be careful and aware of your surrounding. We quite enjoyed our unplanned late-night date as we could see another face of Venice, the scent is clearly different from the afternoon.

I didn't put any make up that night. Honestly, bare skin is the best feeling.

There were many things to choose from Cocaeta. One thing that grabbed my interest is that they use special whole wheat flour to make all their crepes. They also put where they source their ingredients (some), the trustworthy specialist, so we know what we put to our belly. I really love the concept as I'm very thoughtful of my food.

My husband ordered a sweet pistachio creme with banana and fresh cream.

I ordered a Teo & Bia (organic hazelnut) and chocolate cream with banana and fresh cream.

The crepe was heavenly made with skill and love I must say. I think the owner was in a good mood that night. They tasted out of this world. I noticed this from the first bite, the crunchy-thick-springy skin was mind-blowing. I like mine more than my husband's because the sweet pistachio cream is too sugary for my taste, I prefer mine which is a bit bitter. Cocaeta is no doubt the tastiest crepe I've ever tried so far.

I wanted to eat more as I was curious to try their savoury crepe. I ordered the classic one, something with ham and cheese, but with Italian authenticity. It was lovely, I love how the smoked meat wasn't too salty, the skin was springy, and the cheese was gooey. For those who don't fancy the pork smell as much as me, you might want to try one.

Anyway, if you're a Muslim, don't be disheartened, it's better to try their Vegan options or just grab the sweet one, they are very delicious!  :)

The Crepe skin from Cocaeta is something that I will miss.

After we've eaten our crepes, I stayed for a while to absorb all the ambience I could grasp from this place. I think our sudden decision led to something memorable. If we didn't visit this store in the middle of the night, it might be packed with a lot of people, and we couldn't truly enjoy the moment. Perhaps, we couldn't have our crepe while watching the owner preparing all the equipment he needs to make his signature crepe as well.

Again, I received a heart-warming gift in Venice once more in one day. The owner gave our toppings (banana and cream) for free, he appreciated our adoration towards his creation. We didn't talk much, but our heart was connected by something invisible, something we call gratitude. It's incredible how a human heart works. I will definitely treasure this night.

Something beautiful sometimes can happen accidentally or without any plan or even expectation. I didn't expect that our trip to Venice would be so special, but God's blessing made them extraordinary. I want to believe in that. This was just the first day of our summer trip, I still have a lot of stories to share (if you're still with me), and perhaps they will inspire you to believe in life and God once more. :)

I'll see you in my next post!

with love, Comi

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