The Rialto market, St. Mark's and Ca' Pesaro

Reflection: what is the chair doing on the wall?

The morning pipe is lit at 7:20 on the way to Canal Grande. Today another cat is sleeping in the flower box on the wall. The cat is friendly and polite and does not resent my intrusion.

The colours of the houses along the canal get a warmer glow in the soft morning light. An espresso at the baker's makes the blood roll. Locals greet each other and say "Ciao", "Ci vediamo" and "Arrividerci".

The Rialto market

The Rialto market has an abundance of vegetables, fruit, fish and shellfish of every kind.

Some fish have been imported from the North Atlantic and others from the Pacific. There are sardines of different sizes, sword fish, crabs and many kinds of squid and mussels. There are even some small live snails. Heaps of shrimp jitter, and a single shrimp has jerked its way to some live crabs.

Berries in the Rialto market Sardines in the Rialto market Crabs and lobsters in the Rialto market
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Zigzagging to St. Mark's Square

From Rialto there is only one stop to Ca' d'Oro, the golden house. From here we slowly zigzag our way to St. Mark's Square.

It is pretty hot and Helle's left ankle is swollen from the mosquito bites it received the first evening in Venice. She limps - not good. Half-way we cool off with coffee and water.

When we get to St. Mark's Square it is teeming with so many tourists that there is hardly any room for pigeons. We get a seat on a #1, get home and starts the AC. Gosh, it is hot today!

At 12:30 I leave for a bite. Helle stays in the room to nurse her ankle and says that she can make do with crackers. I drop in at La Rivetta by Ponte dei Meloni. The waiter says it is even hotter inside, so I accept the table outside and order spaghetti carbonara and a beer.

A gondolier watches a worker

There is a beautiful gondola in the canal, and many tourists stop on the bridge to take pictures. The gondolier in a striped T-shirt asks from time to time if they want a gondola ride, but has no luck. He is obviously bored and watches the worker who is digging just across the alley.

The spaghetti is overcooked, there is no parmesan and it is with boiled ham and not bacon as the menu said. The beer at 5.5 € could be colder and the whole thing is best forgotten.

Ca' Pesaro

After siesta I go to see Ca' Pesaro, which has a collection of paintings and oriental art. You get off the vaporetto at San Stae and then it isn't far.

Ticket for Ca' Pesaro

The collection of paintings is quite impressive. In particular I like Joaquin Sorolla's "Mending the Sail", which has a fantastic lights and shadows effect. There is also a Carl Larsson, "Matina", from 1904 and purchased in 1907.

Carl Larsson is well known in Denmark from countless postcards and reproductions with children and Swedish rural romanticism. I cannot say anything nice about the abstract modern art, so [silence].

The collection of oriental art is on the third floor. The collection was founded in the beginning of the 19th century by some Austrian count on a world tour. I think the Italians got it as a part of Austrian war damages after World War I.

It has enough weapons for a small samurai army, but there is a lot of 'traditional' oriental art too, and it is very impressive.

It is also very hot up here. For me it is easy - I can leave - but the attendants are doomed to melt away slowly.

I walk back towards San Polo through the maze of alleys and ignore the signs showing the way to Rialto. Following the inner compass I suddenly find myself in Campo san Polo. From here it isn't far to Bar ai Nomboli and a refreshing Coke.

Evening in San Polo and at Da Sandro

We have made a reservation at Da Sandro. We dined there a couple of times in 2004, and the place is recommended in "Chow Venice".

We are seated outside. It is very hot and the air is completely still. I ask the waiter if it is colder inside, and a moment later we have moved. This is so much better! Most of the tables have been moved outside, but there are four left inside.

Helle has spaghetti con ragú - good and plentiful. I have a vegetable soup, which is also good and plentiful. Very sympathetically the house red is cooled.

Helle's main course is a piece of chicken, which must have dried in the oven overnight. I ordered my steak medium, but it is undisputably raw and rare below the tan.

I humbly suggest that a bit more time on the grill would do no harm, but when it returns what seems like seconds later, it has just got a deeper tan. Well, why do waiters ask, and why do ignorant guests meddle in cooks' affairs? The cook knows best how not to fry a steak! Despite this controversy the steak is very good and tasty. We finish off with ice, coffee and grappa.

We walk slowly to the Grand Canal. The night is black and quiet. A few lights and lanterns twinkle in the dark waters.