Saturday, March 30, 2013

Venice, in the end

And so we leave Venice under cloudy, misty skies. Still,  I can't let those dark, damp tones take over Ocean. In the bleakest frame, there has to be a warm tone somewhere. A painted shutter, polka dots (it is the year of the polka dot), glass work in window displays, Easter candy, anything!

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...your eyes are drawn to color. Mine are.

My last Venetian walk. Taken right after breakfast...

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... and after the painfully long payment process at the hotel (remember? I have a blocked credit card). I walk through the quieter, tamer Dorsoduro/Santa Croce neighborhood of Venice.

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And then the book closes on this Venetian interlude and maybe that's a good way of looking at things: whether it's offered to you or not, there is always closure. Onwards and upwards, I used to say to the girls when we were getting ready to leave.

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Diane and I take the train to Milan -- we have to overnight there and so long as we're doing that, I thought it would be good to do something important. Like, for example, to see Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper. On Easter week-end. (I purchased tickets for this four months ago: for some things in life you just have to commit.)

You have to know that it is really raining in Milan. Not just showering, like in Gargnano, or in Venice, but raining. So that moving from metro to hotel, then from hotel to Santa Maria delle Grazie (where the Last Supper is displayed) is painful. We pause at a cafe to ease the mood. Even though we've spent two and a half comfortable hours on a train,  we both admit to being tired.

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But, the coffee is good, the lemon cake is very good and watching others come in, order a shot of espresso, show dismay at an unfortunate soccer play (the TV with a game is on) -- is really good for the spirit.

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We leave somewhat refreshed.

Viewing the Last Supper is certainly not a taxing activity. You wait (with 19 others) until it is your designated turn, you go inside, you look at it (in awe -- it really is magnificent) for fifteen minutes, you exit.

No photos of course, but here's a replica that will give you an idea in case you're not up on your Leonardo material.

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Walking back to the hotel, we pass Pasticceria Marchesi. I had only by chance stumbled upon it last year on Easter weekend and now here I am again, looking at the dove cakes and the chocolate eggs a day before Easter.

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We buy a wee handful of chocolates for our sweet guys back home.

Evening. I thought I touched the bottom rungs of the ladder of life just days ago and now here I am again thinking that perhaps staying in bed for the next 72 hours (or more) is not such a bad idea. But, things turn around. In life, they often do. A few good phone calls. A meeting with Diane in the lobby for one final truly Italian Aperol Spritz.

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And a wonderful last meal together (at ZeroDue).

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The rain has stopped. My playing of Chopin (something I have done incessantly since March 25) surely will soon stop. They say tomorrow, sunshine will stream through Europe and everyone will surely come out in joyous celebration. Easter. Don't forget about Easter.

And spring. And life and all that it entails.