Eat local. Save Venice.

We were in and out of Venice pretty quickly but that doesn't mean I didn't love every second. As my very first stop in Italy, it will always rank among my favorite cities.

We wasted no time soaking up the best of what Venice has to offer - food and scenery. In fact, this meal is from our *second* lunch in Venice on our first day. (Let's pretend I read somewhere that a second lunch is the key to avoiding jet lag.)

My main dish was clams and scialetielli, a shorter, fatter fettuccine. Since Venice is right on the water, their seafood is a lot like ours at home - fresher than fresh.

But what I really want you to look at in these food photos is the size of the portions. What I'm finding in Europe is that in addition to a dedication to quality food, they are also devoted to an appropriate quantity of food. There are no bottomless, refillable vats of pasta, a la The Olive Garden here. You can totally justify frequent meals because they are all a reasonable size!

I took a lot of pictures of Venice and not all of them were of food. Having waterways instead of roadways is fascinating and mesmerizing. I'm not much of a fan of cars so boating around sure seems like a great solution to road congestion. (Although, to be fair, most of the boats are motorized.)

Look how blue the water is! It's just surreal for the buildings to be RIGHT THERE in the water. Fun fact - Venice proper is a grouping of over 100 tiny islands. People have been living here in houses built on underwater foundations for at least two thousand years. Wow.

There's nothing like a European city to make you believe you could be a professional photographer. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to see Venice. It is literally sinking into the lagoon, with some studies reporting by as much as NINE inches in the last 100 years. (Technically, the water is rising more so than the islands are sinking but the effect is the same.) That's in addition to the routine flooding that occurs dozens of times a year.

There are efforts underway by the Italian government to safeguard Venice but they are not yet actually in effect, and, with the rising sea levels, who knows how Venice will fare in the next 100 years. I didn't need another reason to recycle and eat local and avoid driving a car but I will be adding "Save Venice" to the list!

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