The Venice Diaries: Day Three

Day three began bright, early and… unbelievably hot. It was definitely t-shirt weather.

Coffee in hand, I headed out around 8am for a wander through the empty streets of Venice. As I soon found out that the galleries and museums I planned to visit didn’t open until 11am, I decide to enjoy the stroll, sit in the sun and perhaps stop for another spritz.

I sat (read: melted) in a small square filled with fruit sellers, people walking their dogs and friends chatting over coffees in the morning sun until it was time to take in some more art, history and culture.

First on my list was the stunning La Scuola Grande dei Carmini, the school of devotion and charity dedicated to S. Maria del Monte Carmelo, which was founded in March 1594.

It looks like a simple building from the outside, but inside it’s a collection of grand rooms linked together by ornate hallways and arches. It’s full of bright gold-framed painting across the ceiling, the richest and darkest wood I’ve ever seen and lots of intricate and religious detail throughout the floors. It was made even better by the fact that I was the only person in there for most of the time so felt totally enveloped by the art and history displayed around the huge, echoing rooms.

After another sandwich-break (I swear all I ate was bread, cheese and tomato) I headed back to try and find another amazing gallery that I had passed earlier in the morning. I finally found my way back to Bel-Air Fine Art and immediately fell in love with all the pop culture, social commentary and neon coloured art.

Hot weather calls for another ice cream so I visited the Rialto bridge again and tried to devour the banana ice cream before it melted all over me. Following an early start, I walked back to the hostel, with another coffee in hand, and decided to sit in the garden and read.

I’m not the kind of person who can usually just sit down and do nothing, and before this journey I would have thought that time spent reading in the hostel garden was wasted when all of Venice lay just outside my door. However, when you’re actually in the moment, it feels so important and natural to sit and soak up everything you’ve seen and done. So I did just that, and it was great.

Saturday was a bit of a special day of the trip as it was Callie’s birthday. What better way to celebrate a birthday in Italy than with a huge bowl of homemade pasta. We wandered through the streets near the hostel until we found a small, but busy little restaurant serving lots of different pasta dishes. It was definitely promising to us that it was filled with old Italian ladies who had clearly been sat there for hours, enjoying the food and now sipping on their whiskies.

The food did not fail us – at all. I had a stunning bowl of spaghetti with a rich, garlic-y tomato sauce coating it. It was simple. It was delicious.

Following a little solo pit stop post-dinner (Callie went to read and watch the sunset, I went to sit in the cool little bar near our hostel and fill up on cicchetti), we went to continue the birthday celebrations at a couple of the bars behind the hostel – enjoying our last few glasses of spritz and local Italian wine.

Art. Pasta. Wine. Is there a better way to spend your last day in Venice?

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