Italy October 2015
Friday 9th - Saturday 17th October 2015
A week's jaunt across Northern Italy taking in Venice, Bassano del Grappa, Vicenza, Verona, Mantova, Milan and Turin.
London to Paris, and the Sleeper to Venice
Friday 9th October 2015
Lunch at St. Pancras, then an afternoon Eurostar to Paris. In Paris met up with Benoit for a drink or two at Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon before boarding the sleeper train bound for Venice.
Saturday in Venice
Saturday 10th October 2015
Arrived in Venice on the sleeper train in the morning, found some much needed coffee (having not slept particularly well), and dropped my luggage off at the rather splendid hotel I'd chosen, overlooking the grand canal. After revisiting a memorable pizza place from my previous trip, I spent the afternoon exploring the bacari of Venice, and made some new friends along the way.
Sunday in Venice
Sunday 11th October 2015
Took in some of the Biennale in the daytime, interspersed with a nice lunch at Mario all Fava. In the evening, a Bellini at Harry's Bar, a drink at Florian, dinner at La Vecia Cavana, and a little flutter at the casino.
Bassano del Grappa
Monday 12th October 2015
Somewhat reluctantly left Venice around lunchtime, and got the train to Bassano del Grappa - home of the Nardini distillery, and the birthplace of grappa.
Tuesday 13th October 2015
Vicenza, on a rather wet and miserable Tuesday. A bit hard to enjoy given the weather, plus the fact so many places were closed, and that I had to spend a big chunk of the daytime attending to laundry. Did however enjoy seeing some Palladian architecture including the Teatro Olimpico and the famous Basilica.
Wednesday 14th October 2015
Got the train from Vicenza - by way of Verona - to the rather majestic hidden gem of Mantova. Had the Caravatti aperitivo at Bar Caravatti, made specially for them, and not available anywhere else.
Thursday 15th October 2015
From the sleepy backwater of Mantova, I got the train to the flashy metropolis of Milan. Lorenzo happened to be working there in the daytime, so we met when he'd finished and went on a brief tour of the city's cocktail bars. Starting at the Camparino, then on to Bar Basso.
Friday 16th October 2015
Last city in Italy of the trip - Turin. Got the excellent Frecciarossa 1000 from Milan to Turin in the morning then spent the afternoon in Turin trying, not entirely successfully, to find anywhere which took an interest in vermouth.
Turin to Paris to London
Saturday 17th October 2015
Headed home today, by way of Paris where I stopped off for, of all things, a veggie burger. Back at home, for dinner I made taglioni with white truffle, using an Alba truffle I'd bought in Turin the day before.