I decided I couldn’t fight the rain again today. I did it in Venice because I had to. I wasn’t going to have a “nice” day there. But when I woke up and realized it was raining pretty good, I realized I just didn’t want to deal with it. I got ready anyway, thinking I would have too much to do tomorrow if I did nothing today, but when I looked at the map and the opening times of the museums, I realized it wouldn’t be hard to do everything in one day. In fact, I would likely pass through or near many of the outside things anyway, so I might as well just wait.
So I went out to get a jam croissant, DC, and some Haribo gummies and returned to my room. I crawled in bed and read for the rest of the morning (of which, admittedly, there wasn’t much left). I saw that the rain had lessened around 1:30-1:45, so I set out for lunch. I wanted to check out the Il Mercato Centrale that was advertised on the map I have. I googled it and found out it was also at the San Lorenzo Market, which is a bunch of vendor stalls outside. I actually went through those as it was closing last night on my way home from dinner, not knowing what it was. I found Il Mercato Centrale, which consisted of a lower floor farmer’s market and an upper floor restaurant/food court market. The downstairs was not nearly as good as the Barcelona market and the upstairs was not as good as the Lisbon market. But it was still good!
I got a friendly “buon giorno” from an older man working one of the stalls and I had my first encounter with the typical lecherous Italian male! I was walking through the downstairs when I saw a male walking toward me. I paid him no mind, but as we got closer I could see he was looking at me and then said, “hello, hello, hello” as we passed. Honestly. I then went upstairs and looked for something to eat. I settled on a pasta stand (I had to resist the pizza because I had heard all about the freshly made pasta here), even though it did not have any pasta that I would normally have chosen. But I decided to try something new (even though I was worried it would be too spicy for me!) and I got the Penne Arrabiata. It was really good! I think I have to learn that they don’t cook their pasta as done as we do or I am used to. But overall it was a good choice!
Then I returned to my room and kept reading. When I finished my book I did some hotel bookings for Ireland. I can’t believe I will be there three weeks from today! I was going to just book into some B&Bs like I did last time, but decided with the free nights from hotels dot com, I was better off booking ahead.
Then it was time for dinner. This afternoon I decided that I should go to 13 Gobbi, a restaurant highly suggested to me by my friend Frank. I read reviews on it and saw that you should make a reservation. So I emailed them this afternoon and they responded immediately confirming my reservation. I got there early, at 7:10 instead of 7:30 and didn’t realize that they didn’t open until 7:15. But they sat me anyway and just explained it would be a few minutes. I apologized for being early and he said, no, it’s ok, we wouldn’t leave you standing out in the rain! (Even though it had stopped raining at this point, thankfully!)
I had read online about the fantastic special pasta. I didn’t really know what that meant, but everyone raved about it. So when I saw the menu, I saw one dish highlighted in red called “Rigatoni 13 Gobbi.” It sounded delicious, so I ordered it. With a mixed green salad (trying to get fruits and veggies where possible), water (and enormously huge bottle), and white wine (house wine…I know. I never order house wine, but I was trying to get the full effect!). It was a longer wait than other restaurants, but I thought that meant it was actually going to be quite fresh, so I didn’t mind. Plus these two English-speaking women were next to me and discussing office gossip and politics. I think they are both ex-pats working in Italy. But I think they were Canadian. The one anyway, her A’s were quite different. So as I tried to read things on my phone, I just mostly listened to them!
The pasta was AH-MAZING! It was rigatoni noodles with a tomato sauce and fresh, melted mozzarella. It couldn’t have been more up my alley. So so so good! And I even drank the wine, even though it wasn’t quite sweet enough for me. I decided to do it up right, or go big or go home, or something, and got dessert. Even though I had gummies earlier. I was going to do this whole Italian meal (besides, I had spent like $16 all day, not including the $34 for my accommodations!). Well, without coffee or cappuccino, I guess. The apple pie was different, but good! And as I got up to walk leave, I wished I had someone with me to roll me home. So stuffed. But happy!
Tomorrow is a big day…thankfully the museums are open until 7pm, so I don’t have to start my day super early in order to see everything!