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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Venice by Margot Justes

I came back from my ‘vacation’ with what I thought was a bad cold, but it turned out to have been an infection, one I’m still fighting. That is by way of explaining why I haven’t looked at all the prints yet and why not much has been done by me the last couple of weeks.

However, if you’re thinking of visiting Venice, I can recommend the best investment you will ever make-buy the Actv pass, for whatever length of time you choose, depending entirely on your length of stay.

Get off the plane and right in the airport you can buy the pass-that will allow you to travel by bus or the Vaporetto, a public transport system that travels across the Grand Canal and will even take you to other islands, like Murano; my favorite mode of transportation other than walking. A three day pass is less than fifty dollars, and it is money well spent.

Let me tell you about money not so well spent, or at least I didn’t think so at the time and maybe I still don’t.

Piazza San Marco, the Piazza to end all Piazzas’. I was there at noon, heard the bells toll, that deep rich resounding tone that always gives me goose bumps. At any rate, there is a famous café at the Piazza, Café Florian, where the waiters wear white coats, an orchestra is playing and just to sit down will cost you nine dollars per person, after all the orchestra is playing and it is Piazza San Marco-ambiance-you have to pay for ambiance.

So, I bit the bullet and sat down. Now comes the menu, I knew it was going to be expensive, but I was thirsty and how expensive can a glass of water be? Very expensive. I ordered Pellegrino, Italian sparkling mineral water; that is what I drink at home. I buy it by the case at Costco.

The staggering price for a glass of Italian sparkling water was thirteen dollars, and to add insult to injury they brought a generic brand, not the Pellegrino listed on the menu. The total price was twenty three dollars, and let’s not forget the tip.

I went back that evening to see the Piazza lit up, this time however, I stood and listened to the orchestra, watched as a couple danced, soaked up the incredible atmosphere and it didn’t cost me a penny.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
http://margotsmuse.blogspot.com
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
available on amazon.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Magic of Venice

Back from my vacation-not so much a vacation-as research for my next book, I found the perfect setting, Murano, glass and of course Venice.

I will start my tour of Venice with the next blog and I have pictures, over 500 of Venice alone, can we say snap happy, but Venice is stunning and a city like no other.

I was there during two major events, the Venice Film Festival and a huge art festival.

The art festival was unique in that even an old Romanesque Church was converted into an art gallery, and not for religious art, but contemporary abstract pieces were displayed in place of the pews throughout the church.

Getting around Venice is simple, you can’t get lost or you wind up in water, and all signs point to Piazza San Marco. The trick is to actually find it, it’s hard to miss, after all it is a huge square but miss it I did.

The first night there I decided not to waste any time and start my sightseeing, Pizza San Marco beckoned, I wanted to see it at night all lit up. Ha! I found every alley, more than once, every side street, again more than once, except for the elusive grand piazza. Even getting lost is delightful in Venice.

Exhausted I walked back to the hotel, showered and went to sleep

Till next time,
Margot Justes
http://margotsmuse.blogspot.com
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
available on amazon.com