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Eating in Venice and near Verona

Rotonda near Verona


I've been eating well this week, here in Venice. Pot roast. Turkey. Cranberries. Wild rice. Stuffing. Good American Thanksgiving meals and all the requisite leftovers.

Much as this is really good food, it was a nice break to spend yesterday eating Italian food, for a change. We had a proper multi-course Venetian lunch at Vini da Gigio, with classics such a meltingly-soft sarde in saor; squid-ink dyed spaghetti with a robust olive, tuna, and tomato sauce; duck alla burinella; roast branzino; and a wholly untraditional-but-excellent dessert of gianduia-flavored semifreddo with a crunchy crumbled bits of amaretti. And after one good, substantial meal, we went on (eventually) to a second.

The second was in Zevio, a small suburb in the orbit of Verona, and, with the exception of basic form, it was nothing at all like the first. It was the annual banquet for the regional Sport and Culture Association, beginning at 9 pm and lasting into the wee hours of the night. It began with lavish numbers of nibbles (the best of which were deep-fried zucchini blossoms) and a variety of drinks, including Bellinis, prosecco, and juices. It continued with two primi, the best part of the whole meal. The risotto was made with radicchio and flavored with amarone, turning it an entertaining pale purple, and giving it an intensely enthusiastic flavor. The ravioli were served with a nicely-balanced truffle cream sauce. The meats and their sidedishes were competent, but less interesting, but dessert returned to form, with a millefoglie layered with a chocolate-flecked ricotta-cream filling. Wine, water, and prosecco were ample, and the company delightful.

The dinner was punctuated by speeches and people winning raffle prizes. Afterwards, however, Valentina and her band took to the stand and the capacious dance floor filled up with dancers doing everything from line dances to waltzes to the bachata to novelty numbers. (I'm convinced that "Capitan Uncino" must have been released by a one-hit wonder band, although I haven't look it up. I hadn't realized that Italy had its own chicken dance, entirely different than the one I grew up with, except for the arm flapping.) It was an utterly Italian event, from the uniformity of skin tone to the quality of the food to the way in which more-or-less everyone knew the same kinds of social dancing. And it was a whole lot of fun.

I still have lots of good acqua alta photos I could post from the other day, but this is more representative of my past 24 hours - the roundabout outside my hotel window this morning, just off a motorway, somewhere in the orbit of Verona. Thematically, it too has water in it.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
gillo
Nov. 25th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Radicchio is such a Veronese vegetable isn't it? Was there polenta too?

I'm so jealous - two holidays in that area this year merely makes me want more!
owlfish
Nov. 25th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
No, two primi were quite sufficient! We had polenta - slices, grilled - with the sarde in saor and the mains at lunch, though.

I really don't know Veronese food. Technically, I know I visited it once, but that was years ago, day-tripping for some specific purpose I no longer recall, but which involved walking around the city center. I associate radicchio with Treviso, but that's only because of the special curly radicchio trevigiano.
gillo
Nov. 25th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
I'm basing my comment on two visits to Verona last summer plus what it said in the Rough Guide. Apparently it is the key vegetable of the area.

Two full-blown Italian meals in one day? ::iz awed::
hairyears
Nov. 25th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Roundabouts? In Venice?
That isn't Venice! You've been spending all this time in Milton Keynes.
owlfish
Nov. 25th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Roundabouts? In Venice?
MK really is a strange place, if they drive counterclockwise around roundabouts there. Who knew?
hairyears
Nov. 26th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
Counterclockwise? In Milton Keynes?
I am entirely mistaken. The magic roundabout isn't in Milton Keynes, it's in Hemel Hempstead. And Swindon.

And yes, they go counterclockwise. In all probability, tracing out the dread symbol odegra from the sacred text of the black priesthood of Mu as they go.
printperson
Nov. 26th, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
Capitano Uncino (Captain Hook)
RIT: Porta in alto la mano
segui il tuo capitano
muovi a tempo il bacino
sono il capitano uncino

un passo avanti ondeggiando
un'altro indietro bailando
muovi a tempo il bacino
sono il capitano uncino

porta in alto la mano
segui il tuo capitano
muovi a tempo il bacino
sono il capitano uncino

un passo avanti ondeggiando
un'altro indietro bailando
muovi a tempo il bacino
sono il capitano uncino

è notte fonda
è come su una barca di pirati in festa
io con la bandana in testa
ti dò la caccia e la folla balla
e dentro la piscina c'è chi prova a stare a galla come una palla!

Mi giro in torno seguendo il tuo bacino
bello come il mondo, rotondo,
io mi ci tuffo, mi ci impossesso
perchè sono il capitano se! il capitano se! se!

come un corsaro, un'abile bandito
capitano uncino ti ho fatto mia
dalle tue labbra pendo
ma non mi arrendo
e cerco di portarti via
a mare aperto
dentro il mio mondo
dove sovrano avrò il tuo tesoro
perche sono il capitano e con la mano in alto
ti dò il mio tempo segui il ritmo del capitano

Segui il ritmo del capitano

SEGUIMI!

RIT:

T'ho catturata
tolta dalle braccia di quell'uomo in veste di Peter Pan
che col cervello chiuso, ottuso
sepolto in mezzo all'Isola che non c'è
faceva fusa a tutte le sbarbine
proprio come te

Ma adesso ascolta
e chiudi quelle ali
vieni via con me
come travolta
e balleremo insieme dischi di una volta
e poi in coperta
se non ti basta mi sfilerai l'uncino
e poi il bacino un movimento fino al mattino
e poi in giardino faremo casino con tutto il resto della ciurma
che ascolta, salta, rimbalza e con in alto la mano segue il capitano

RIT: X 3

E' notte fonda
e nella mia piscina si cavalca l'onda
a ritmo della musica che non affonda
come un corsaro, un bandito, un capitano uncino
ti ho fatto mia
e dopo aver legato Peter Pan
con in alto la mano
segui il tuo capitano
ti ho fatto mia
e dopo aver legato Peter Pan
con in alto la mano
segui il tuo capitano
sì, ahia!

RIT: X 2
printperson
Nov. 26th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
Capitano Uncino (Captain Hook) link to the music
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )