Sunday April 12
I had planned to sleep in but was up early so I decided to go to the one and only Mass at Chiesa San Trovaso, which was a five minute walk from where I was staying. It was a nice service with no more than 50 people there. There was just a priest, no altar servers, ushers or Eucharistic ministers, so it lasted less than an hour.
After Mass I walked to Campo San Marguerita, where I found a small cafe and sat outside enjoying a cup of cappuccino and a mandorle crostata. I heard Church bells ringing, which was no surprise, as there is a church on almost every corner, and certainly in every piazza.
I spent the afternoon wandering around Venice with no agenda, stopped at an Internet cafe to have access to Wi-Fi for an hour and wandered back to my room. It was wonderful, certainly better than my original plan of going to Padua on a day trip.
Later I headed to Piazza San Marco as this was my last night in Venice. I was intent on finding the same cozy restaurant with five tables, that I so enjoyed the last time I was in Venice. After wandering up and down five or six callès, I found it! I instantly recognized the red awning, and then I recalled the name once I saw it, Anima Bella. I was thrilled it was open and that there were open tables.
The same friendly woman, the owner, was there and I was so happy that she could seat me, although later she was full with reservations. I ordered spinach tortellini with pomodoro sauce, insalata mista, a glass of red wine and acqua naturale. Of course everything was delicious!
Then one of those serendipitous moments occurred. A woman entered the restaurant alone, and the owner was unable to accommodate her at a single table. For some reason, I immediately sensed some identification with her; perhaps it was her smile combined with the fact that she appeared to be traveling alone. I extended an offer to share my table if she cared to join me. At first she declined, not wishing to impose, but I knew that if she left, she would be missing out on a truly authentic Italian experience.
I convinced her to stay, and it was amazing that we made an immediate connection, even ordering almost the same thing. She is also traveling solo, is from LA, and she came to Venice to take a mosaics class at the world famous Orsini studio. We both share the same passion for Italy and laughed and talked through our meal, and it was a totally spontaneous fun experience.
We walked through Piazza San Marco and then went our separate ways. Good luck Cindy on your Matisse mosaic!