Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Italy - Week 2 - January 2015

Italy Week 2 – Jan 29 – Feb 4, 2015

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Nice surprise today. “Cooking with Lucas” had a cancellation in his Tour of Downtown Vicenza and I was able to secure a spot! 

We met in front of the Teatro Olimpico--a theatre in Vicenza, northern Italy, constructed in 1580-1585. The theatre was the final design by the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and was not completed until after his death. For more info, check out their website:

This is the courtyard of the Teatro Olimpico  

Awesome day. Toured downtown Vicenza with 9 other ladies. Army wives. So fun. Loved getting to meet them and hear about their lives in Italy.
We walked through the whole town! Lucas took us to what he considered the best pastry shop, the best coffee shop, wine shop, deli shop, and a trip to a 119 year-old copper shop. We visited a couple of Asian markets and went into the supermarket, EuroSpar. Wow, it was awesome so many fresh items and wine, wine, wine!

Copper Shop in Vicenza started in 1896 by this man's great-grandfather. His grandfather ran it and now it's run by him and his father. Here he's molding a plate.

Hand-made Copper pots, clocks, and more.

The Bacchigilione River runs through Vicenza with bridges crossing the river in several locations.

Prepared food to go. A feast for the eyes as well as the belly!

La Visea -  Nice wine shop with some of the local wines. Here's a wonderful post with all the information you'd need to find it and what the shop has to offer. All with Pictures!

Original house of the famous Antonio Pigafetta who sailed with Ferdinand Magellan.

Built in 1440. Can you imagine living in a house that old?

Door to the Pigafetta house.

And my preoccupation with cool doors continues.|en&tbb=1&ie=UTF-8

Learn more about his contribution to the voyage here:

 Fresh seafood market.

After the tour, four hours of constant walking, we stopped for lunch at Lucas' house. 

Lasagna and salad with great wine. 

Cheese and desert wine—the best! 

I’m still reeling over the Lasagna. 

It was a special kind usually only made during the Christmas holidays. This Lasagna had seven meats and included olives and chopped Almonds in the top crust. 
Mama Mia—sooo delicious! 
Hands down, the best Lasagna I’ve ever eaten. 

And what was so amazing is that I didn’t have any issues with the Gluten. 

It’s been amazing how I can eat things with gluten here and not have any problems. I’m sure it has something to do with the lack of GMO’s and other things that we’ve done in the US to make things “better.” Can you say “let’s go back to the simple ways” please?

Lunch "Italian Style"
Super Special Day 

Cheese with dessert wine. 

Here’s the "Cooking with Lucas" website if you’d like to check out the great Italian recipes. If you’re ever in the Veneto Region near Vicenza, I highly recommend connecting with him for a class or a tour!

Statues on the building in Vicenza's Piazza dei signori. 

The oldest coffee shop in Vicenza.

Although the day was cloudy and a bit dreary, we rode up to Monte Berico and had an awesome view of the town. 

Here's more about Monte Berico:

Great day! Once home and settled I check the stats on my FitBit.  Walked 16,158 steps for 6.76 miles. 

Friday,  30 January 2015 
Square in Cavazzale

We woke to snow on the ground—about an inch of the thick slushy stuff. So the walk to school with the grandkids was fun. Boots and lots of splashing. Funny, it didn’t stop the women who ride their bikes everywhere to be out and about as usual. Some of the riders are at least in their late sixties or older. They do keep active here because they walk or ride bikes where they need to go. The town is small enough to get what they need in the heart of town or from the market on Saturday.

Saturday 31 January 2015
Market day. Walked around the square. Bought fresh garlic (aglio). Wow, powerful stuff. Cooked fresh spinach (spinaci – spin—ah—chi) with garlic, olive oil (olio) and butter. Very Good (Molto Buono!)

Went bowling with the kiddos on post today. Quite fun even though it had been at least 4 years since I’ve gone bowling. Didn’t even break 100. But, hey, came close!

Sunday 1 February 2015

Left early this morning, son and I headed to Piazola sul Brenta to attend one of the largest antique/contemporary markets in the Veneto area. There are over 700 vendors and is held each month on the last weekend of the month. Yep, you guessed it. We missed it. Feb 1 is not the last weekend of the month.

We were a bit disappointed.

The Villa Contini is located here and it is amazing. Here’s a link to the history.
Cobblestone Road in Piazola sul Brenta
that is in front of Villa Contain
One of the many stone faces adorning the arches over the road in Piazola sul Brenta
Gates to Villa Contini in Piazola sul Brenta

Chess board square in Marostica
We decided to drive up to Marostica to go to their market. I adore that square. It’s a giant checkerboard and a human chess game is played in medieval dress every two years. Now that is one chess game I would be ready for!

Wall around the square in Marostica

Had Gelato at 10:00 AM is was wonderful. Who says you can only have gelato after lunch and in the summer? Banana flavor with cheeries and hard chocolate shell. Yum!

Market in the square in Marostica

Church this evening on post. Sermon from Matthew of the temptation of Christ. Yes, the enemy is always lurking and he shoots directly for those areas of our greatest vulnerability.

Didn't watch the Superbowl. The start time here was 12:00 AM. Sleep was more important...

Monday 2 February 2015

Relaxed around the house today with the wee little man. Lovin’ this little guy.
Had wonderful wine tonight! Brought our bottles to this wine shop and they filled it from a spigot!

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Drove with DIL to NICOLI, a local purse factory. Oh boy, you’re talking my language! I’m such a purse hound. Well, I couldn’t resist buying one. A red one!

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Stopped into Fausto’s a local coffee and pastry shop. Had a cappuccino with a Miele (me-A-lee) Brioche (Bree-ooch) (Honey Brioche). Awesome. On the way home visited the local fresh vegetable market and bought a branch of cherry tomatoes (pomodorini)

Decided to walk to the neighboring town, Montecello Conte Otto, and visit their church. Didn’t seem very far when we drove through. So I dropped the tomatoes off and headed out. Stopped along the way at the local cemetery. Very interesting. As a writer, I love reading the names on the headstones. Gives me ideas for naming my characters. Especially the ones in my stories set in Italy.
Broom hanging on stone wall in cemetery
These cemeteries are very personal. There are eternal lights on the graves with pictures of the deceased and many have live plants on them. Every mausoleum had brightly colored flowers. Very beautiful.

Some families have individual mausoleums.

So I wore my FITBIT bracelet today and by the time I arrived home before 10:30 AM, I’d logged 11,700 steps or approx. 4.75 miles. 

Watering cans in the cemetery for visitors to water the flowers/plants
See the large family mausoleum behind.
A grave site with a garden over it.

Oh and when I got to the church in Montecello C.O. it was locked. AND my camera’s memory was full AND the battery was dying. So I didn’t get any photos past the cemetery. Guess, I’ll just have to go back with a full charge on my phone and all my pics downloaded to my computer. Maybe in a couple of days I’ll have pictures of the beautiful church and bell tower.

Walking path to Montecello Conte Otto
Finished the day with well over 13,000 steps at almost 6 miles.

Until next week, Ciao!


Rena Huddleston said...

Love your pics and detailed information about your tours. Love the red purse. The pastries and lasagna looks delicious!! Your little grandson is precious! Enjoy!! Loving the architecture.

Rena Huddleston said...

Loving your pics.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Rena, thanks for stopping by and sharing the travels with me. I'm so happy you're enjoying the pictures!

Ann Ellison said...

Loving your pictures and reading about your trip. Thanks for taking us along with you. So glad you are having such a great time.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Ann, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you can "cyber" travel with me!