Subject: Greetings from Vicenza
Hi Don & Linda and Ziners,

Left Verona this morning en route to Vicenza with a little side trip to Bassano Del Grappa where we grabbed a grappa or 2! Actually, while walking past a bar/grappa establishment (Nardina) with several locals hanging around outside imbibing, I, in my most friendly Italian, said bongiorno! to one of them and in my best broken Italian told him we were from Canada (I looked at him, pointed to ourselves and said "Canada"....good eh), whereupon he invited us both in to taste the indigenous firewater. We tasted 3 different medicinal beverages...and I never felt better!! He didn't work there, was just having a drink outside with his buddies! Everyone we've met has been so friendly.

Vicenza is quite beautiful little town, famous for, among other things, its well preserved Palladio architecture and theater which we will visit tomorrow.

Venice was as beautiful as I remembered it to be and I think I got a number of good shots of the canals etc. We went over to Burano and that was really a feast for the eyes. Weather was perfect, I think I caught some great reflections of the bright, vivid colours of the buildings in the canals.

Verona was a busy, bustling town in part because of a 2 day international pop music festival being held at the large ancient Roman amphitheatre only 2 streets away from our hotel. In fact we could hear the music and screaming crowds from our room. Fortunately it did not keep us awake. Michael Buble was one of the many performers. The main square was filled with young people and TV trucks. Shopping seems to be great here as well, as Carol can attest. Much of Verona seemed to be under restoration.

We are definitely eating well and eating our way across Italy this trip. We really don't remember eating quite as well on previous trips (although I'm sure we did). Some of the highlights: in Venice a pasta & duck ragu primi and carpaccio of Branzini in a Pernod sauce as secondi. In Burano, at a wonderful trattoria, with Sylvio our charming waiter, outside beside one of the canals, fresh seafood and pasta ala vongole washed down with a glass of amazing Valpolicella (Sylvio let us finish the bottle gratis-an extra glass & half. What a deal !) In Verona an Amarone Risotto and '97 Quintarelli Valpolicella Superiore...taste sensations nothing short of orgasmic gastronomy!

Lunch yesterday day was more than we bargained for, a quaint little trattoria off a side street behind the main square, Giuliano, the owner served us at a table outside. Started with long flaky cheesy breadsticks draped with prosciutto, and parmigiano regiano drizzled with 20 Yr balsamico from Modena, next was a buffalo mozzarella dish - Burro I think (can't remember the exact name at the moment) swimming in pesto, garlic & olive oil with moz cream inside, ...etc etc and a glass each of 97 Amarone 16pc alcohol! I've never tasted Amarone as good as this.

We must keep walking lots otherwise we'll be rolling! That's it for now!

Harvey & Carol