Prepping for Carnival. Venice, October 2014

Steampunk Carnival Masks, Venice

Did anyone get one of these for Christmas this year?

Me neither. Maybe next year.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 346th straight, was snapped on 06-Oct-2014 in Venice, Italy.





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Maquva, coffee for under a euro in Venice

A 90-cent Coffee, In Venice (Pic du Jour)

Proof that one can still find a coffee in Venice for under a euro. A real, two-sip Italian espresso.

Since relocating to Europe more than a decade ago, that’s been one gauge I use –and still do– to measure how affordable a city is. Remarkably, a quick coffee can still be enjoyed in quite a few places for less than a euro.

Normal cafes and bars in Italy still generally charge less than a euro for an espresso but I will admit that finding one in Venice, even on the far fringes near the Piazzale Roma, was an extremely pleasant surprise. A far cry indeed from some of the double figures price tags (live music surcharge included) on cups served in and near St. Mark’s square.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 292nd straight, was snapped on 6 October 2014.

A woman walking her four dogs at the Campo San Maurizio, Venice

Pic du Jour – The Dog Lady from Campo San Maurizio

Here’s one shot from a three hour stroll around Venice yesterday afternoon. I mostly stuck around the less hectic and busy Dorsoduro district waiting for the crowds to thin at the Guggenheim Collection. They never did and I decided I wasn’t up for elbowing my way through one of my favorite museums in Europe. Another time.

This  was snapped in the Campo San Maurizio which is on the other side of the Grand Canal in the San Marco sestiere, or district. Venice’s historical center is made up of six districts, or sestieri. I’m very happy to report that Venice appears to still have more dogs than cats. The rodent population probably agrees with me, too.

A mini-gallery from the afternoon forthcoming once I’m on the ground in Ohio later this week.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the the 268th straight, was snapped in Venice, Italy on 06-Oct-2014. Please click the image to view the full uncropped version.

If you see Edelweiss packaged like this anywhere..

Window of cheesy gift shop, Monte Lussari, Italy, 21-Aug-2012

..don’t buy it. It’s protected virtually everywhere. Sightings in their actual alpine settings have become increasingly rare.

And the next time you visit one of the little gift shops near the mountain-top pilgrimage church on Monte Lussari near Tarvisio, let them know they should be embarrassed to have these knickknacks on display. I did and the shop keeper did turn a few shades redder. He didn’t remove them though.

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Landslides and Flooding in Cinque Terre

I was planning to tempt the mid-November weather Gods and visit Cinque Terre for the first time later this month. That’s not going to happen now since they beat me by about three weeks.  Severe storms hit the area on October 25, triggering massive flooding and landslides. Most severely hit were Vernazza and Monterosso; I was planning to stay in the former.

Travel writer Rick Steves has a good write-up of the devastation that affected his favorite corner of Italy on his website here and here. He also posted a slideshow focused on Vernazza, including some before and after shots.


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