Thursday, March 27, 2008


So, another miserable, rainy, cold day in Venice and the surrounding area...what better idea than to take a train trip, right? My first clue that this wasnt a good idea is that when I walked into the train station, almost every train was 1/2 hour or more late. Slowly, everyone got assigned to a train track but me. After an hour and just as I was about to walk out and throw in the towel, I got a train track. All was good until in the middle of nowhere and just 10 minutes from my destination, the train stops.

Who knows why we stopped since no one ever makes any announcement about anything. The interesting thing is that was stopped right in the middle of a railroad crossing, thereby stopping traffic in both directions for over 30 minutes! The horn honking was almost unbearable. But, finally, for whatever reason, we moved again and I arrived at my destination 1 1/2 hours late.

Where did I go? Well, I met one of my travel buddies in Bassano del Grappa. The idea was to visit this little town with great history and then head over to Nove to check out the ceramics. Because of the delay and having to always keep in mind siesta time (i.e. everything is closed from noon to 3), we decided to chuck Bassano and just go straight to Nove.

I have come to really, really like limoncello since I have moved here (I sure hope I can buy it in America?) and I want some ceramic limoncello glasses (they are basically shot glass size). I want ceramic because they freeze better and hold the cold longer...and limoncello just isnt good unless its really cold. My favorite restaurant here serves the limoncello in ceramic glasses (which is where I got the idea). However, they only have 3 left and have no idea where they got them from. I tried to buy those 3 from them but they too know the value of limoncello in a frozen ceramic container!

So, Nove is the ceramic capital of Northern Italy. Think of all the Lenox, Williams Sonoma and Vietri ceramics you see in the mall stores (and for that matter in TJ Maxx and Ross!). Chances are, they are made in Nove, Italy. Nove is like any other non descript European city in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to look at in particular and impossible to walk from showroom to showroom because of the distance between them.

It was interesting to see all those ceramic pieces and to see how cheap they are before they get to the US and in the Nordstrom kitchen display. I asked several of the shops about my limoncello glasses and they all said no and to check in southern Italy around Sorrento. The good news is I am going to Capri next month (which is where limoncello was originally made)! If they dont have them there (and at this point, I am willing to pay just about anything), then they just dont exist and I have a business opportunity if anyone is interested! :-)

On the upside, I did get the coolest ceramic limoncello decanter, so I am on my way. I suppose if all else fails, I will just tip the decanter back and drink it that way!

Oh, this picture has absolutely nothing to do with today except that this is quite possibly the worlds smallest car and I couldnt help but laugh out loud when I saw it by the train station in Bassano. Its smaller than the SmartCar. I dont even think a 5 year old could fit in there comfortably.

1 comment:

Gil said...

Looks like you might be studying ceramics when you get home and make your own ceramic shot glasses.