We went on to Ravelo, where we had a wonderful lunch and toured the gardens of a fabulous villa that was once privately owned.
We’re staying at Ca ‘Sagredo, a beautiful hotel that was once a private villa. It was built in the early 1400’s, before Columbus ever touched American soil. Each morning we climb a lovely staircase to go to breakfast and at the bottom of the stairs are two statutes. This is one of them – just a little decoration. You can see a tiny bit of the Venetian glass chandelier which hangs from the huge room at the top of the stairs.
We saw the work of Lino Tagliapietra, who is almost 82 and was named a master glassblower in 1950, when he was only in his early twenties.
There is a restaurant on the back of our hotel and it faces the Grand Canal. This is the view when you look to the left. I took this late in the day yesterday, one of my favorite times to shoot photos because the sun isn’t so strong and doesn’t wash out all of the colors.
Another photo taken late in the day. There’s something so peaceful looking about this boat, its color, and the color of the water. Even the window shades seem to pick up a hint of that blue-green.
We had dinner at a restaurant with a rooftop bar. I was mesmerized by the scenery up there, wishing I had wings (like a few of the pigeons we saw) so I could soar above the city and see every last thing.
I’m overwhelmed. This is my first trip to Venice and it really is a remarkable place. Yes, it’s full of tourists (30 million people a year come to this city and I think 20 million of them are here now) but there are so many wonderful things to see, I don’t care. And there are also plenty of canals and bridges to discover that aren’t overrun.
Here is part of the view from our hotel window – the Grand Canal. I keep thinking about the wonderful Merchant/ivory film, A Room with a View, based on E.M. Forster’s novel. Parts of the story took place here in Venice. What a romantic city.
We had a private walking tour of Venice, which included St. Mark’s Basilica. A tiny portion of it is shown in this photo. It’s hard to believe that craftsmen and artisans living hundreds of years ago created monuments like this without the use of modern machinery and equipment. What they lacked in equipment they possessed in passion and drive.
I’m so excited. We’re at the JKF airport in New York, waiting for a connection to Venice. We’ll be there for three days and then to Positano on the Amalfi Coast for six days. It’s a long-awaited family vacation and I can’t wait to get there. We’ve been to Italy twice before – to Tuscanny and to Umbria – but this is our first trip to Venice and Amalfi. I’ve got three cameras packed – two Nikons and one Sony point-and-shoot. I learned from a previous trip to Paris to always have back ups! I’ll be posting photos and travel tidbits here, so stay tuned.
I’ve just inked a deal with Crown Media for a Hallmark Channel movie of my first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café. Alison Sweeney will star and produce. They are already into pre-production, and filming will begin this month in Vancouver, Canada. I’m hoping to fly out there and watch the filming for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it’s taking place during a time when I already have a lot of travel going on with my family. That said, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I’ll have to figure it out somehow. What an odd (but fun!) feeling it will be to see and hear people act out the parts of characters I’ve dreamed up.
I used to come to this beach when I was a teenager. It’s a private beach, but I had friends who lived in the neighborhood. We loved to swim and jump off the float and sometimes we’d sail around in a sunfish that belonged to one of the guys. One recent afternoon when I drove by here, I saw some kids on the float and it brought all those memories back in a flash.
If you’re looking for the town of Dorset, Connecticut on a map, you won’t find it. When I wrote my first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, I decided to create my own town of Beacon, Maine. Although Beacon was inspired by real towns I’d seen in Maine over the years, I took bits and pieces from several places, added a hefty dose of imagination, and came up with the final setting.
I used a similar approach to create Dorset in The Rules of Love & Grammar. I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, so writing about the state where I spent most of my life was fun. In creating the adolescent backstory for the main character, [Read more…]