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A Garden in Venice

Garden art & lifestyle

Lent in Venice: Between Carneval and Easter Time

Il Carnevale è spirato - now that Carnival is over, and the quaresima (lent) time has arrived, what can you do in Venice between Carneval and Easter? Evidently, you can choose between a few quiet activities in this leisurely span of time: Enjoy the Venetian sun terraces (weather permitting) and discover the first spring blossoms, look out for birds, and enjoy Venetian sweet delicacies in the pasticcerie without crowds. 
Mild spring sun rays, near Campo San Zanipolo and Campo dei Miracoli
Quaresima time is one of my favorite times of the year in Venice: Ash Wednesday somehow rings the bell with Venetians that spring is about to set in. Now, with an eye to the Venetian gardeners and spring just round the corner, they are currently planning on how to embellish their windows for the spring that is imminent, and which flowers to grow on their balconies, garden strips, terraces and in their flower beds: You will notice that from now on, spring flowers are appearing all over town, and plants come back up to the Venetian roof gardens (the so-called altane). And that the February late-winter light that falls into Venetian homes now takes on a special sparkling quality ...
Spring sun rays dancing on the marble floor of Hotel Casa Fontana, Campo San Provolo
still waiting for the first blossoms amidst the evergreen shrubs
Between Carnevale and the Holy Week before Easter, you certainly have the city to yourselves. La quaresima brings back time to all of us, believe me, a very scarce and precious good during Carnival in Venice!! Now that Carnival time is over, you can stop and savor the first warming spring sun rays, try out the roof-top terrace (altana), listen to the remaining blackbirds in town and other birds here in Venice chirping away on their spring melodies on sunny mornings. Mid-February is the time when blackbirds start singing again, so the pre-spring time is great to dedicate yourselves to birdwatching !!
On this pre-spring altana, the mandarine and kumquat plants are still missing ... early morning in late winter
And this is the view you get from the altana ..
On the website of the Venetian birdwatchers - Ornitologia veneziana - you can listen to a Venetian blackbird. So the time was just right when on 2 February 201,3, the Museo di Storia Naturale in Venice organized a "Venice Bird Day"
Read more about the Venetian Bird Day 2013 here.
But we must not take the spring sun for granted, at least now: On some days after the Carneval period, you can savor the quiet late-winter atmosphere, when the town can become totally still. On mornings like these, you could choose to taste your favorite sweets in peace and quite at the bars and pasticcerie in Venice, with a fine cup of tea or coffee, without the crowds. And there is enought time to talk to the owners and learn more about recipes and ingredients. 
Pasticceria Canonica, Campo San Filippo e Giacomo - where you can taste varieties of typical Venetian sweets all year long, such as almond pastries with cocoa, coconut fillings, jam fillings. But also seasonal delicacies like fritole ...
You could also try Pasticceria Rosa Salva, Campo San Zanipolo (though this video was taken during Carnival time):
Before Easter, you can take your time and choose your favorite fritole / fritelle, and a host of other sweets that I would like to present to you in a few pictures. Take a look at those colorful meringues, and almond pastries, filled with apricot and rasperry jam ... My other blog "Le spezie di Venezia" will be running a post on the common sweets available here in Venice. 
I also love pan pistacchio con mandorle ... (window shopping at Pasticceria Canonica, Campo SS Filipo e Giacomo)
Venetian blue meringues (peppermint) and torroni alla mandorla (almond): pasticceria near Calle di Mezzo (Mercerie, San Salvador)
Venetian colored chocolate bars - bauta forms (Pasticceria San Zulian, Campo San Zulian): this chocolate-like mass does not melt, even on the hottest days in summer !!


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