Our trip from Rome to Venice was broken up by stop at Verona, the city most famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After stopping in to see “Juliet’s Balcony”, we grabbed a scoop of gelato and had a quick walk around the city before it was time to be back on the bus and onto Venice.
We were staying in a campsite on the mainland so the evening we got in was a relaxing one with dinner in the Topdeck cook tent and a chance to catch up on some much needed sleep. The next day we took the bus to the parking area on Tronchetto and then the monorail into Venice. From there we had a brief walking tour across the island to St. Mark’s Square before the highlight of any trip to Venice, a Gondola ride through the canals. It was definitely one of those “Wow, I’m actually here” moments. We also had visits to a lace factory and a glass factory for the chance to purchase some traditional Venetian wares.
For lunch, we found this little restaurant down a side street near St Mark’s Square where I had pasta with eggplant. After lunch we took a scenic walk around the city. Venice is one of those great places where it’s actually fun to almost get yourself lost just wandering around admiring the buildings and the canals. In our exploring, we also managed to find a little pasticceria that we had passed during our morning tour and sampled some Italian biscuits and other treats. We then took the monorail back to Tronchetto and home to the campsite, where we started the celebrations for my birthday the next day.
One thing in Italy that I didn’t eat as much as what I was expected to was pasta. Rome and Venice had Topdeck cook tents at the campsites and typical meals were usually meat based with salad or vegetables. So by the time we got to Venice, I really just wanted to have some proper Italian pasta, and I did just that. While the pasta I had in Venice was vegetable based, for my meal back home I decided I wanted to embrace another speciality of Venice, seafood, by making a Prawn, Basil and Chilli Pasta. I’ve already talked several times about the delicious simplicity of Italian food and this pasta was very much along those lines.
After the success of my Vanilla Gelato, for my dessert I decided to try making Chocolate Gelato. This recipe uses cornflour instead of eggs to thicken the mixture which allows the full rich flavour of the chocolate to come through.