Posted on | March 30, 2011 | Written by Lisa Mauro | 3 Comments
I recently went to Venice to celebrate being a year older and to eat well, drink well, and smile a lot—and I did just that. My family and I enjoyed culture, pigeons, and boats , including a splendid Gondola ride on Sunday morning after brunch. It was my third visit to this magical city, though I found it to be my favorite, not only for the time of year, but also for the simplicity of it all.
Venice tends to bring out my melancholic side as I remember what the city once meant to me when I was once single, wearing a very costly rented, romantic Renaissance dress like a total modern Cinderella and celebrating Carnevale nightlife among friends at an elegant 1920s themed party in a glorious palace along the Bridge of Sighs. I also remember it for the time I escaped from Verona’s VinItaly to Venice via train. I traveled there and back to eat one magical dinner that started with a Bellini and ended with fegato (a typical dish of Venice) at Harry’s Bar, the original Cipriani Downtown “authentic Italian style” restaurant, to give a frame of reference for New Yorkers.
But this time it was different. I was accompanied by my beautiful daughter, Aurelia Costanza, and my Italian husband, Luca. I found simplicity strolling the streets of Venice with a map, looking at the architecture and churches off the beaten path by day, and indulging in spectacular Venetian dishes by night. My husband thankfully had an inside connection with Do Forni Ristorante through a close friend from Cittadella, a town close to Padova, so we had a very warm welcoming. My birthday present was a gorgeous bottle of 1998 Quintarelli Amarone Della Valpolicella. It was a lovely experience to have those flavors of rich, vibrant fruit unfold layer by layer as I savored each moment of delight. And it was symbolic to receive a bottle of Quintarelli as a birthday present because both the bottle and I are looking forward to getting better with age.
I preach the idea of simplicity, but really living this idea of wine-like life grows complicated in this modern world. The idea is this: as with a bottle of wine, you open it, live it, and enjoy it, no matter where you are, or when, and you let yourself drink deeply of love and happiness.