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Old 02-01-2018, 01:59 PM   #21
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I can, indeed! Did it involve chandeliers?
No, I found the chandeliers too ornate for our taste. The owner had autographed pictures of famous people all over the place. He seemed to be on a first name basis with Steve Wynn. Should have known then we were in trouble. We bought some individual pieces that would sit on a table or credenza.

Yes I agree Murano grass is beautiful.
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:21 AM   #22
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We follow a few general rules in Venice and in a few other similar cites.

First off, we never bother going into a restaurant that has the menu written out in four languages and most especially one that advertises some sort of blue plate special. If we do walk in and all we hear is English we turn around.

There are a few residential areas in Venice, away from the more touristy areas where you will find something more local. But it will involve some walking, and even better, some getting lost.
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:41 AM   #23
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No, we bought some. Took a private launch to Murano. Got a private tour of the glass blowing facility, couple glasses of wine, charming guy. You can guess the rest.
I did the exact same with a friend who ended up buying a chandelier!
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:57 AM   #24
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There are a few residential areas in Venice, away from the more touristy areas where you will find something more local. But it will involve some walking, and even better, some getting lost.
I remember a quote ,"To discover Venice, one must get lost in Venice". That is true. I walked from St. Marks to the Rail Station (Ferrovia), got lost, found a large piazza with almost nobody there, and sat on a bench just looking around and enjoying the atmosphere.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:02 AM   #25
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No, we bought some. Took a private launch to Murano. Got a private tour of the glass blowing facility, couple glasses of wine, charming guy. You can guess the rest.
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I did the exact same with a friend who ended up buying a chandelier!
Hmmm! Private launch, private tour, wine ....... looks like they got quite a setup figured out over there!

You pretty much self-identify as being wealthy by taking a private tour. Captive customer. And then wined too!

Thanks a bunch! I’ve always wanted to visit Murano, but we’ll have to skip the private tour and wine part.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:36 AM   #26
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There's a Venetian style glass factory just outside Caracas (ICET Arte Murano) that was set up decades ago with retired artisans from Murano. Some amazing pieces, and the factory is on-site to watch them create. Some really beautiful art work - at least, once upon a time; nowadays I understand they've shifted heavily into the more "lower skill / easily produced" products.

We used to get them as gifts for family and friends, but I stopped when my sister got married. I bought a beautiful decorative, very colorful plate, but the x-ray machine in Miami didn't like it and it set off an alarm that upset the security folks. Probably had something to do with the minerals used for colors - iron, zinc, manganese, cobalt. Seems airport security is unusually sensitive to those.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:50 AM   #27
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There's a Venetian style glass factory just outside Caracas (ICET Arte Murano) that was set up decades ago with retired artisans from Murano. Some amazing pieces, and the factory is on-site to watch them create. Some really beautiful art work - at least, once upon a time; nowadays I understand they've shifted heavily into the more "lower skill / easily produced" products.

We used to get them as gifts for family and friends, but I stopped when my sister got married. I bought a beautiful decorative, very colorful plate, but the x-ray machine in Miami didn't like it and it set off an alarm that upset the security folks. Probably had something to do with the minerals used for colors - iron, zinc, manganese, cobalt. Seems airport security is unusually sensitive to those.
Wow - at least they let them retire and leave! During the Renaissance artisans were kept captive on Murano, and assassins sent after escapees. Venice did not want to lose trade secrets.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:51 AM   #28
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Hmmm! Private launch, private tour, wine ....... looks like they got quite a setup figured out over there!

You pretty much self-identify as being wealthy by taking a private tour. Captive customer. And then wined too!

Thanks a bunch! Iíve always wanted to visit Murano, but weíll have to skip the private tour and wine part.
Exactly. Whenever I accept a ďdrinkĒ, I know Iíve just bought something. Happened in Istanbul too. Nice rug though. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:12 AM   #29
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Exactly. Whenever I accept a “drink”, I know I’ve just bought something. Happened in Istanbul too. Nice rug though. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
In Istanbul I ran into a very charming fellow whose cousin was "the president of the World Bank". He could not understand why I did not want to have tea with him and gain a 'friend for life'. Another fellow tried to lure me for drinks in a bar full of beautiful women. Yeah, I know how that ends - I pay for $400 bottles of champagne. Why in a predominantly Muslim country would I trust a guy who wants to drink and womanize?

Other than a few con-men, I found the Turks to be wonderfully warm and good people. Twice I was chased down the street by store employees when I forgot to pick up my change. It's unfortunate that the Turks have to live in such a tough 'neighborhood'.

Back on topic: I recommend that one stand in front of the Leone di San Marco, face the water, and go left. After about a 20 minute walk (more if a lot of tour boats are in), there is a beautiful park bordered by wonderful houses and palazzi, a few bars which are not very busy, with prices 1/2 or less of SM square.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:16 PM   #30
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Exactly. Whenever I accept a ďdrinkĒ, I know Iíve just bought something. Happened in Istanbul too. Nice rug though. Oh well, what are you gonna do?
We had a specific requirement for a 3 foot wide runner that was 10 feet long. Took them 2 rounds of apple tea to admit defeat!
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In Istanbul I ran into a very charming fellow whose cousin was "the president of the World Bank". He could not understand why I did not want to have tea with him and gain a 'friend for life'. <snip>
Other than a few con-men, I found the Turks to be wonderfully warm and good people. Twice I was chased down the street by store employees when I forgot to pick up my change. It's unfortunate that the Turks have to live in such a tough 'neighborhood'.
Yes a very friendly place with lots to see and do. We thoroughly enjoyed it during our 8-day stay.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:42 AM   #31
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I remember a quote ,"To discover Venice, one must get lost in Venice". That is true. I walked from St. Marks to the Rail Station (Ferrovia), got lost, found a large piazza with almost nobody there, and sat on a bench just looking around and enjoying the atmosphere.
Agree. Iíve walked this several times. Really fun, never know whatís around the next corner. Easy to get a little lost and thatís part of the fun. Worked out several different routes.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:10 AM   #32
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never know whatís around the next corner. Easy to get a little lost and thatís part of the fun.
Doesn't everybody do this everywhere? We just up and wander aimlessly......"Let's go down here...there..." Never knowing what we might find.

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Old 02-05-2018, 11:58 AM   #33
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Doesn't everybody do this everywhere? We just up and wander aimlessly......"Let's go down here...there..." Never knowing what we might find.
Yes, I do that quite often when traveling. At times, I will identify two bus stops, subway stations, etc. a few walking hours apart and spend 1/2 day or a day, just wandering between the two. When I get tired or have seen enough, I head towards one of the stops and get a ride back to my room.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:02 PM   #34
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Yes, I do that quite often when traveling. At times, I will identify two bus stops, subway stations, etc few walking hours apart and spend 1/2 day or a day, must wandering between the two. When I get tired or have seen enough, I head towards one of the stops and get a ride back to my room.
In cities we will often buy a metro day pass....jump on a streetcar/bus/subway without knowing where it's going, get off on a whim, wander around, and eventually attempt to make our way back...so far, so good.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:47 PM   #35
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Doesn't everybody do this everywhere? We just up and wander aimlessly......"Let's go down here...there..." Never knowing what we might find.
Maybe to varying degrees, but Venice is a particularly good place to do it. Probably because there are no cars and the streets are so narrow and convoluted. Not to mention all the canals. For instance, Dubrovnik wasn’t quite as interesting as the streets are pretty much laid out in a grid and there are no canals. Otherwise. Lots of fun.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:04 PM   #36
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Dubrovnik wasnít quite as interesting as the streets are pretty much laid out in a grid and there are no canals. Otherwise. Lots of fun.
Last time in Dubrovnik, outside the walled city, we wandered around an old church/graveyard and ended up in the middle of a wedding party......always something to see and remember.
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