This past week was Spring Break, so I headed down to Italy for a few days to see an old friend. It was a quick trip but I was able to spend the day in Venice and saw the area around Vicenza.
This past weekend I took a USO bus tour to Nove’ Italy for a weekend of pottery shopping and exploring. I had a great time and found some pretty nice things.
My adventure started around 9:30pm Thursday night when we boarded the bus and headed towards Italy. Sleeping on the bus wasn’t ideal, but I had two seats which made things a little better. We arrived early Friday morning and had the opportunity to change and eat breakfast at the hotel we will be staying before we headed out for shopping. Our hotel was located in Marostica which is the city next to Nove. The breakfast was your typical European breakfast which included breads (rolls, crescent, rolls, toast) cheese, prosciutto, yogurt, water, juice and coffee just to name a few.
Around Nove, there are tons of pottery shop and we didn’t even dent them. The first shop we visited was called Ceramiche Larry and I bought a bowl with a Venice scene on it. On the drive home we had a raffle of the items the business donated, and I won the oil/vinegar and salt/pepper set which goes along with my bowl I got. I was super excited.
Next headed toward Ceramiche Edelwiess which was one of my favorite places and I ended up going there twice. I got most of my pieces from there. There were tons of design to pick from like olives, lemons, stripes, flowers and even pieces which looked like pizza and cheese.
Then we travel to la Ceramica VBC which also had a large selection and I ended up getting a few pieces from the seconds area. I found a set of plates and bowl for super cheap because they didn’t come out perfect. The plates and bowls were like 2 euro each normally 9-12 euros each. We went to a few more pottery place before lunch. Then has a lunch a pizzeria where I had fettuccine. After lunch we explore a few more pottery place and a shop which pewter, brass and copper. I got a necklace and bracelet which has Murano glass which is one of the island near Venice.
We had dinner at our hotel which consisted of some yummy Italian dishes, wine and dessert. After dinner we walk around the city center of Marostica. In the center square was a giant chess board and every two years the city reenacts a chess tournament which started around 1454 between two noblemen who challenged each other to see who could gain the hand of Lord’s daughter. The loser got the other daughter who wasn't as pretty. The reenactment consists of 600 people wearing costume and even includes horses. The castle is consisted of a lower and upper castle. I wish I had more time to explore the upper castle. The chess board is located in the lower castle.
Saturday morning come bright and early. We ate breakfast at our hotel and check out and loaded the bus for our final day of shopping. Our first stop was Union where we were invited to watch a flower demonstration of how the flower and arrangement were made. After watching them makes you understand the work and pride put into each piece.
Next we headed to Nicoli Leather which was a big excitement for my fellow bus mates. There was a bargain section at the back of the store. I was good and only got one purse.
Before lunch we had time to revisit some pottery stores and then we headed to a winery located in Molvena for a quick tour then a wine tasting and lunch. The owners showed us one of the vineyards and how they made the wine and then we travel to the other part of the vineyard which houses the family home. We had our wine tasting and lunch on the patio of the owners home which was a 500 year old family farm house which has been remodel and updated inside. The wife was making our lunch in her kitchen and offered their personal bathroom to our tour, all 23 of us. Their hospitality was amazing! The wife’s 90 old grandmother came over because she wanted to see the Americans, which is super cute!. It was a wonderful experience and when we left we felt like family. We had some yummy finger food while tasting different wines and jams. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the food. I enjoy the mosacato type wine called Loara and got a case of it, that's 6 bottles. While walking around the property, I came across an old barn and took some pretty amazing picture. We arrived home early Sunday morning around 1am. It was a very fun weekend!
A teacher who loves traveling the world.