We treated ourselves to another lazy start this morning with a late Secret Tour of the Doges Palace first, a brief break then finishing the tour. So we were there for about 2-3 hours altogether and the rest of the afternoon we mostly got lost looking for a particular tea shop that I remembered.There were going to be fireworks in the evening not until much later, but we had been warned that there would be crowds. The best place to see them was a good way from St Marks, so we had a nap, then went out for dinner and walked to the far end of the island, with our little bottles of Prosecco and Bellini. We got back to our hotel about 1am, a late night for us but most of the rest of Venice were still on their boats in the lagoon. 🥰
It’s Friday so it must be Venice. A short journey this morning and we were in Venice by 11.30, where it wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be. Craig was not too happy about leaving the keys on the dash and walking away from the car park until he saw a Porsche GT2 parked up and decided he was being silly. (Look them up…£200,000..3…4?😮). The boat ride was easy, finding the hotel tricky, but we made it.This kind of holiday is a bit hard core and taxing to the best of relationships and I’m a great deal more used to it than he is. He’s picking it up well 🥰. It was very hot and we needed lunch, a drink and to find our way around. Even though this is my 6th visit I still get lost and confused. We were back out later to enjoy the evening.
Our first stop today was Villa Maser – we thought we ought to see a real Palladian villa as by now we knew so much about them.
There was a storm on its way so we sheltered in the carriage museum while it passed. Our next stop was Bassano Del Grappa where we had some lunch and stroll round. The last destination, Padua, was clearly where everyone went as it was a busy place with very poor parking and after 20 minutes or so of trawling round, we parked up in an odd underground garage marshalled by an odder little Italian man. As the car park shut at 7 we had less time to explore than I would have liked and in the end stayed only an hour or so. There was a spectacular sunset and Frosty quietly rested back at the convent overlooking Vicenza,
while we drank wine.
I seemed to survive the night; someone thought I might just be a pile of ashes after spending a night in a convent. The plan today was to walk to town, get in a bit of culture, do a little shopping (maybe a dress, maybe a trinket), have taglieri for lunch, eat ice cream (a sad omission yesterday), stay in the shade and walk home again. We did it all. We didn’t achieve our 21,000 step record that we got on Monday but we got to 13,000 and it was hot 🥵. So far we’ve seen the oldest covered theatre, been round the Palladio Museum, looked at some paintings and churches and generally wondered why on earth people don’t seem to go to Vicenza.
Another drive to our next stop, Vicenza, but we were there by 1.30. We were greeted by a wall of heat and a cacophony of crickets in the trees in a beautiful location near this church. The little hotel was lovely in itself but seemed a little sparse and basic. It wasn’t until I delved deeper online I discovered that it was or at least had been a convent. This would explain why there was only one mirror (in the bathroom), a very simple desk and chairs and a hairdryer on request. It didn’t explain why the shower was big enough for two 👍. It was a 20 minute walk into town, long enough in 30C. We ended our day with pizza overlooking Vicenza.
It was raining this morning so it gave us chance to sample the lovely buffet breakfast in our hotel. It was forecast to clear up at lunchtime, which it did, so we moseyed down to the town and had a spectacular lunch of a (very) large limoncello with tonic and a tray of nibbles. By the time we had walked back the weather was bright enough to take a boat ride out to two of the closest islands on the lake. We went back to town in the evening for a delicious meal of pork tenderloin stuffed with prunes and wrapped bacon, with Amaretti ice cream to follow. But although they did fit me, I didn’t buy these…yes Barbie pink Louboutins.
Another long driving day through Mont Blanc to end up at Stresa, our stop for tonight. It didn’t actually seem so much driving today as the roads were very clear and apart from an unfortunate stop in Aosta services (don’t go there) and a few hairpin bends into Stress a very easy drive but finding the hotel wasn’t so easy due to a combination of sat nav and stupidity (I’m not taking all the blame for that). Parking was another matter with an “I can’t get my Porsche down there” moment. To be fair with all 4 sensors screaming there was a need for outside intervention (me); let’s just say we did get parked. A lovely afternoon and evening and the promised rain and storm never quite happened.