A Wedding in Venice
Venice: La Serenissima
Venice in November? Getting married in Venice in November ?! Arranging it all in 4 weeks?!!!
The task was set! My GF and I had decided we wanted awedding just for the two of us. Venice is my favourite city in the world, I wasluckily enough to have studied there for 6 weeks 25 years ago, and have neveryet been
disappointed by its beauty.
The paperwork was reasonably easy to negotiate with helpfrom the British Consul and the rather wonderful Matteo at the Town Hall in Veniceso, rather quickly, the date was set 11am on the 19th November. Whythe rush? Well, wed always wanted to go to the Biennale and it would be endingthat weekend so a combination of matrimonial duties and contemporary art seemedjust the ticket.
Of course, first place to look for great accommodation isLL.Wed had our eye on Ca Segredo for quite a while and now seemed the perfectopportunity to stay in a place on the Grand Canal.We booked a three night stayin a Panoramic Suite through LL and booked one extra night too the one extranight costing as much as the great offer for THREE nights with LL!).
A short flight to Venice Marco Polo and we were there.
This had to be the time to arrive in style so we took awater taxi which speeded across the lagoon in the darkness at top speed andthen winded its way slowly through some back canals, onto the Grand Canal andright to the steps of Ca Segredo.It was good to be home.
We were taken to our room, a lovely LARGE bed, sitting room,marble bathroom and a bottle of Champagne waiting.
Opened our windows to see the Grand Canal with thevaporettos passing by. It felt SO right!
The Ca Segredo was quiet (as was all of Venice) and thoughnot cosy, far too grand for that, it was a perfect place for us. Superb location,right beside a vaporetto stop, in a lovely area, Strada Novo, with so manylovely local restaurants and shops. It was delight to sit and watch the eveningpassegiato: families shopping, lovers kissing, children playing and workmengoing about their business.
Breakfasts were a buffet affair with very friendly serviceand really set us up for a day of walking and exploring. Venice is a walkersparadise: no cars and within 45 mins you can walk from one end to another.
The next few days were spent eating at fabulous little localrestaurants (Im lucky to have a friend who works in Venice a lot and who hadgiven us great recommendations) with not a tourist in sight and remarkably goodvalue. The food was divine, the service friendly and relaxed. In our firstlunch venue, the restaurant was stuffed with gondoliers enjoying a ratherleisurely lunch break!
One of the best was La Vedova just two minutes from our hotel :mmmmmmmmmmm!!!
The Biennale lived up to expectations.
We spent one dayexploring the national pavilions in the Giardini, a bit of
national comparisons,oh,Denmark didnt try very hard
Wow, wasnt Russia great?!
Another day we went to the Arsenale (the old ship yards)[img]/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/28iFDA6574DA98B4B15/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1[/img]
which was the perfect venue for some astounding work (andsome rubbish too).
Another added bonus is that the Biennale also spreads itstentacles into the rest of Venice with churches and palazzos hosting othernations. It was quite something to visit a beautiful church with sheet metal onthe floor and walls AND be encouraged to bash around as loud as possible!
A bit of history and culture? Had to be a visit to theDoges palace and the Secret Itinerary tour!
A guided tour showing off secret passages, torture chamberand Casanovas jail. Then time to explore the rest of this astounding palace.The art! The art!
Even managed to bump into a couple of 16th Centuryladies(from Australia?!):
November? Well, we suffered no rain at all, the temperaturewas comfortable and so few tourists were the perfect combo.
What I love about Venice is that it never really changes.
With little difficulty I was able to find my old studentlodgings beside a lovely little canal.
I had changed in 25 years but this hadnot. Memories flooded back, of friends, pizzas and beer and so much more
Our wedding was only a 10 min walk from the hotel. Aphotographer friend from Scotland had offered to come across to do some photos,which was great. We arrived
At the Palazzo Cavalli just near the Rialto Bridge
and aftera lovely intimate ceremony (which concentrated on the importance of the familyand children, SO Italian), the deed was done. A rather nice surprise was a giftof a beautiful Murano glass vase, now sitting proudly in our living room.
The rest of the day was spent casually walking around theCannaregio area being photographed in the most beautiful of locations, stoppingfor espressos and another great lunch in a local restaurant. Just perfect!
As dusk fell, a combination of darkness/slippy boots/marblesteps and moss led to my fall from grace.
Yes, I fell into a Venice canal on my wedding day in fullwedding get up! It just made the day more memorable although I dont think thathe German concierge at Ca Segredo was too impressed by my rather smelly return.
In the evening, we had our dinner (included in the LLpackage) at Ca Segredo. A beautiful refined four-course affair includingoysters, foie gras, and fabulous roast beef. Afterwards we went out to thejetty and place two Chinese floating lanterns into the Grand Canal and watchedas they floated out into the darkness flickering gently in the the water.Ahhhhhhhh!
All too soon, it was the next day and a late check out, aquick 20-minute speed across the lagoon and we were gone.
I just hope its not another 25 years till I return to thiswonderful, graceful city.