Farewell to Catullus
More holiday highlights:
- Venice: the view from the campanile of S. Giorgio Maggiore
- Venice: the mosaics in the basilica on Torcello
- Seeing Aida in the Verona Arena, conducted by Placido Domingo, in a revival of the 1913 production which was the first opera ever staged in the arena. A terrific spectacle, especially the Grand March (featuring about 500 people and amazing onstage trumpets). For God's sake, there were six harps in the orchestra!
- Seeing Carmen in the arena the next night, in a fantastic Zeffirelli production. Wherever you looked there was always something going on that was worth watching. Only five harps this time.... Once I've sorted out my photographs I'll post some of Aida and Carmen along with proper reviews.
- Eating in the Ristorante Tre Risotti. It was very handy for our hotel so as well as eating there on our very first night we ate there on the opera nights. Very untouristy and excellent food. The small menu does indeed feature three different risotto dishes: Gorgonzola and pear, shrimp and Porcini mushrooms, and Amarone. The last was, as its name suggests, a red wine risotto: the wine slightly sweetened, slightly laced with some kind of stock, and thickened a little, but basically just a sauce made with wine. Really unusual and delicious.
- Seeing the organ in San Tommaso which was played by the infant Mozart (though we couldn't get into the organ loft to see where the naughty lad carved his initials into it).