Friday, September 30, 2011
Wine, my old friend... we drink again...
We wake up a bit earlier today to catch a water taxi to Murano. The gal trying to sell me a silk bra and panty set for a king's random yesterday said it's best to go in the morning. When we arrive at 9:00 AM, there are many stores not even open yet. That doesn't mean there isn't plenty to keep us occupied. or pulling our our wallets.
Mom's a sucker for glass! She's made beads and i do mosaic and some fusing. I've also been called a crow more times than I can count. I like things that sparkle, and there is no shortage of that in Murano.
At one place we stop, there is a darling little dog. I stoop down to pet her and in just a few minutes, she's licking my face with approval. The owner seems pleased, and when we ask about the adjoining factory and seeing the glass made, he walks us back for private viewing. It is so very cool. They are making a chandelier. There is a master actually working the glass, and several assistants doing various jobs. One makes the rods, taking a ball of molten glass and twisting and pulling it i to an unbelievably uniform shape. This is then given to the master, who snips off one end in the appropriate length. Another assistant brings over a gob of hot glass after rolling it in frit and applying golf foil. He attaches it to one side of the rod, which the master presses flat and then literally takes a special pair of scissors to cut ridges as the glass begins to take on the form of a leaf. The same is done for the other side, and the master takes the glass to the oven, glowing bright orange, and gives it a spin or two until it is the perfectly malleable. He shapes it as another assistant comes over with a tray, which he breaks it off on, and it is whisked away to be annealed.. Which means cooled very slowly in an oven to avoid fracturing the glass. Wow. It's really all I can say.
We wander from store to store, ogling mostly. I'm not in the mood for another sit down lunch for and arm and a leg, so we pop into a little bar and do like the Italians... grab a bite and lean. It's the cheapest meal, aside from breakfasts, that we've had in Italy. For under 10 euro, we have 2 "cicchetti" (a little cold fried snack of mozzarella and ham that reminded me of a Monte Cristo, and 2 "tramezzini" (these little wonderbread sandwiches -- mom's with crab, mine with proscuitto) and two waters. It was actually one of the better meals we've had. Or I was really hungry.
Amazing how all that walking (and shopping) can make you famished.
We head back to the apartment around 4:30 PM and sit down to admire our treasures, which in mom's case means trying to remember what she bought and trying to find things she can't seem to place, and for me, repacking her stuff so it will fit in our ever-expanding luggage. Then we sit down for a snack, sadly the last of the truffle cheese and the proscuitto we got in Greve de Chianti, and a glass of dessert wine. I have a little champagne, too, to dull the pain for what soon will amount to us being lost.
We decide to take the water bus to San Marco, which is about a half hour voyage, but saves us the hour of being lost. We wander our way toward the Grand Canal and hop on another bus toward the Rialto. Then it's in and out of a few shops before finding a place for dinner. There we discover that you should also understand the conversion factors for liquids.
A liter of wine is entirely too much.
It will, however, make getting home fun. Hopefully, we will be typing again from Milan tomorrow. If not, perhaps you can call the American Embassy for us?