The other day I traveled by train for an excursion to Venice. How easy  it is to organize! Something that surprises me every time. Why don't I do this more often? Indeed, going with little, or no agenda is enough reason for the trip.

Arriving by lunchtime gave us an objective right away. The choice was a well-known haunt called Trattoria Alla Madonna, steps from the Ponte Rialto. With friendly service, glasses of crisp white and samples of fresh catch, the place provides welcome refuge for a couple of hours.

By mid-afteroon our plan was for a lazy walk, more like a meander  to our hotel, Novecento. After a check-in we went back to the streets. Staying out of the way of tourists is as easy as being part of the human traffic flow. There's equally good window shopping on the main arteries as there are boutiques along the peripheral side streets. However you see your priorities, the novelty and beauty of Venice is uplifting.

 We didn't look for any art galleries until the next day. A chance entrance into the 

Bugno Art Gallery

 in front of the Fenice Theater turned out to be fortuitous. The gallery representative was inspired by  two local artists who made it big in the world of contemporary art.  Paolo Ventura and a NYC Italian photographer, Luca Campigotto are new names for me to recognize for the next time.




More walking, which is what I like to do in cities brought us to the Arsenale quarter. It's not easy to stay on track as you navigate the side streets and bridges. The locals, while not known for their warmth and fuzziness are pleasant enough. Make sure you don't take their grumpiness personally. Venice is not an easy city to live in. You must check out the restaurant, Luna Sentada. Ermanno, a young enterprising and very humble owner will treat you well.