What a wonderful evening I've had! First, I wandered around the Rialto for a bit, looking at the menus of a few sparsely filled trattorias. Then, I headed in the direction of a Piazza I had discovered earlier, near the Escuala di San Teodora. There, I simply followed my nose into an over-crowded Jazz Bar, so full I had to stand for a bit before getting a table. The waiter told me he liked the gnocci with quattro formaggi better than the Alfredo, so I got that with a FraBellini and then had a wonderful conversation with Mark and Vanessa-- a couple on "holiday" for a long weekend from Chester, England. We quickly determined that every patron in the bar spoke English (no idea why... and we chatted about Thanksgiving, NYC, Bush and Blair, etc. It was fun!
I followed dinner with a somewhat spontaneous activity that thrilled me to the core. Two years ago, on my trip to Paris, I booked my hotel in the Opera quarter, so as to have an opportunity to spend a "classy" evening out. Unfortunately, the hotel was off a side street and in a section I was comfortable walking in at night. Strike 1. Strike 2 was last year when I searched in vain to see an Opera in Barce.
Here in Italy, I got a fastball right down the middle!! The escuela de Teodoro was showing a lovely Baroque Opera for 22 Euros, so of course I went. The experience was wonderful!! The orchestra and Bass and Soprano were all in Period Costumes. The Band stood on the small raised stage at the front of the open room and when the Bass or Soprano was to sing, they entered from the back. It was lovely. The haromonies, the room itself, with its painted ceiling and high wrought iron windows. The fact that every seat was filled-- I'm guessing all 400 were tourists... And we all just appreciated the music. What a wonderful way to spend an evening. What a delightful welcome to Venice, to Italy!!