Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day in Murano

I got up early and rode the vaporetto out to the island of Murano to visit my old friends Lucia Siega and Salvatore (Toto)Galanti. They are the couple who makes much of the jewelry for my glass business. They are so hospitable and fun to be around!

As always they prepared a wonderful meal. We had Apertivo for a before dinner drink, frizzante water, and white wine with our meal. Toto prepared bruschetta with sun-dried Sicilian tomatoes, and one with pesto sauce on top, and another dish from filo dough that was almost like a quiche. Then, we had zuppo pesche, seafood soup with shrimp, squid, and calamari in a tomato base broth. Yum! Yum! Venetians are known for their fish diet and know how to serve it up. And of course, we finished the meal with an espresso.

We chatted and had so much fun talking about the UAE. Lucia worked for many years as a tour guide with a travel agency in Venice and has traveled all over the world. She was very eager to talk about the Emirates. Lucia speaks four languages fluently so we converse in English very well. Unfortunately, Toto speaks only Italian so we have conversations with child like English and Italian with Lucia translating when needed (which is a lot). I found today as time went by that I was speaking more and more in Italian again. Spending time with them and talking with them triggers a natural tendency to speak in Italian. It is very interesting to see how much you remember. I think if I was here for a month or so I would be speaking very well again. I have forgotten so much. However, when I hear a word I often recall it but would not have been able to speak it until I heard it again!

After I departed their house, I wondered around the island and met with several new vendors talking about the possibility of using them for new jewelry designs. I am looking for pieces in a specific price range so I did some negotiating today. The glass business has been hurt by the economic crisis and many of the furnaces have closed in the last year. Lucia and Toto are very much afraid that many will not be able to re-open. One of the oldest furnaces on the island, Venini, is struggling to stay open. They are only operating their furnaces a few days a week for a few hours and have layed off many employees. They have yet to close their doors and are trying to hang on.

I had a good day today and enjoyed spending time with dear friends. I hope that it will not be so long before I see them next time.

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