We finished our Venice time on the main island, hitting some art museums and churches while enjoying our final Italian meals (and drinks) of the trip.
A work by Antonio Donghi
The morning started at Ca’ Pesaro, the palace (mansion) turned art museum. I had shared a list of possible sites to visit with our tour guide on Monday, and he pointed this out as a strong candidate. It features 19th and 20th century art, focusing on the periods straddling and including impressionism. Definitely a surprise highlight of our Venice stay. I enjoyed the works of Antonio Donghi; Julie not so much.
One of the churches visited in Venice
The Venice Chorus Pass was part of the city card I purchased, and I was determined to at least visit a few of them. We worked in four churches as we meandered the island and were glad we did. There are Italian renaissance works by masters in all of them, with some in better states of restoration than others.
Our tourism ended with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a modern art museum at her mansion. This was a must-see for modern art fan Julie and it made a very strong showing. Not the MOMA but not far from it, with a high density of masterpieces combined with some modern Italian works by artists we likely wouldn’t see elsewhere.
The spritz recipe
Let’s conclude our Italian journey by talking about food and drink. I definitely got on the spritz bandwagon, trying a spectrum (Aperol, Campari, others) and enjoying everything I could get my hands on. Too bitter for Julie. My final spritz in Italy was a the Aperol cafe, designed to showcase the signature cocktail. They had Campari on hand too, cause Campari owns Aperol (who knew??). There’s been a wee bit of consolidation in the spirits world over the past 20 years.
Our favorite local wine
Starting in Verona we became fans of the local wine Valpolicella (and the more robust and expensive Amarone). I’d compare it to Pinot Noir and on the budget side of the cost spectrum.
Overall our dining experiences in Italy were mixed. We were always in dense touristed areas, so straying from classic Italian food was a challenge (we hardly ever did). The menus were never vegan friendly, and only sometimes vegetarian friendly. I gladly eat seafood and am mostly OK with fish, so my choices were generally easier than Julie. As we roam into northern Europe (and mostly metro areas with a high density of working adults, university students, etc.) we’ll start to lean more on ethnic foods.
Last comment on Venice: I regret buying the mix of transit passes, Venice Unica card, and airport pass. I overpaid for just about everything (because of a lack of utilization, not because there’s a markup); it would have been much smarter to just buy as we went. We’ve learned a lot about how we use public transportation: almost never if we can walk it. We just love to walk. The big exception in Venice was our day out in the lagoon, but we could have bought a 24 hour vaporetto pass for that single day.