Author: Alice

Saying goodbye

On our final night in Venice, we paid one last visit to Osteria Ruga di Jaffa. The owner, Alvise, gave us a bottle of sumptuous olive oil as a goodbye gift, sparking a discussion from the men at the bar about the best way to use such a treasure. Their parting words: “just please, please don’t cook with it”. We then took a walk along Riva degli Schiavoni towards the Giardini, stopping along the way to talk about how it feels to be leaving; both of us staring blindly at the iridescent sheen of Saint Mark’s, having seen its domes from this vantage point so many times before. From Via Garibaldi, we burrowed into Venice, following a half-remembered route home. The bells tolled midnight. Dom said that perhaps he could live here forever – I replied that I need to leave and then come back to know that for sure. I thought about that again the other day, while eating my lunch on a bench in Bungay and looking out over the flooded marshes: The best thing about leaving, Read More

venice lagoon

14 March

I should really be writing about natural health supplements, but I’m sitting outside a cafe with a coffee and a soft breeze in my hair, and spring is here (!) so the Ashwagandha can wait. Let me just set the scene, for future senile Alice if nobody else. A few floors up a caged song bird sings. It chirps all day, every day (even in the depths of winter the cheering song could be heard whistling through Salizada S.Antonin), but today it does so with gusto. Then there’s gush and whirl of the milk frother, the clatter of teaspoons on cutlery and saucers placed down on marble counter tops. And in the street, the manager Anna laughs with a group of women. Every sentence bulleted with ‘amore’ and ‘tesoro’ and probably even more Venetian terms of endearment that I’m deaf to. Now there’s the clatter of the bin men, trundling past with their heavy carts. It’s recycling day today, and they pack away flattened pizza boxes with such good humour that you’d never have guessed Read More

snow in the giardini venice

How to spend a snowy morning in Venice

I have found the best place to enjoy the snow in Venice, quite by accident. You must go to the Giardini at 10am. The path through the park will be fairly untroubled by footprints and the snowflakes falling from the trees will dance under the sun (or perhaps it will still be snowing – that’s even better). If you pass the fresh fish stall on Via Garibaldi and enter the park from there, you will soon come to a place selling flowers on trestle tables – it will look like a workshop, and you might expect to see a bare allotment nearby. But then you’ll see the glint of a greenhouse from behind a hedge – or perhaps it’s better described as an orangery. Anyway, a sign will tell you that it is the Serra dei Giardini. You will notice the potted lemon trees outside, the puckered fruit frosted with ice. And then, if you’re really lucky, you will hear music as you walk towards the entrance. If you are more cultured than I am, you’d Read More