Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 3: Goodbye Venice. Hello, Romeo and Juliet!

Restaurant / Cafe visited:

  1. Terrefazione Marchi (3.5 star. Decent Coffee, cold service)
  2. Le Calandre (4 star. Good food. Awesome hospitality)
  3. Caffe Pedrocchi (4 star. Delicious espresso with mint cream)

TIP: You can check in your luggages at the Padova train station for 3.5 Euro per piece per day. Make sure you retrieve your luggages before they close at 6pm.

Last day in Vencie

I wanted to try Torrefazione Marchi before I leave Venice so I went there in the morning and ordered a cup of cappuccino.

However, I still like what I had at Caffe del Doge better. I had to have it once again before I leave, so I went back to Caffe del Doge again. I just love this place. The coffee, the people, the decor… everything.

This time, I ordered something called Cortado. Yenyi told me about this type of coffee, where there is about half of the milk in the coffee than cappuccino. They didn’t have this type of coffee on their menu, but I showed them the word, and explained to them what it was and they made me one! It was really really delicious. 5-star through and through.

And here, my short encounter with Venice ended with the best possible note. I will be back one day. I promise.

Le Calandre, Rubano (Very close to Padova)

Le Calandre in Rubano holds 3 Michelin stars. There are total of 7 Michelin 3-star restaurants in Italy. I will visit four of them on this trip. Le Calandre is the first one.

I took a train from Venice to Padova, and then got on a bus (line-10) and it dropped me right in front of the restaurant. Very easy and straightforward.

I was the first to arrive at 12:10pm. The decor was modern, simple and with lots of wood and linen. When I went to the restroom, there was a photo of them looking at where I stand on the wall by the urinal! LOL. Playful and humorous. This seems to be the style of Le Calandre. I love it.


Service was professional, friendly and helpful. Even though I went on lunch hours, I went for the full tasting menu + wine pairing. The whole experience. All their staff speaks English, which makes it much easier for me. I really appreciate the efforts.

For the tasting menu, including Amuse-bouche, there were total of 10 courses.



The chef personally came out several times to greet everyone. He checked in with me each time to make sure I was enjoying my meal. Really friendly and down-to-earth guy.

When it was time to leave, I realized that I had missed the bus, so the chef called a taxi for me and he stood right there outside of the restaurant and waved me good bye for a long time as my taxi drove away. Again, such down-to-earth guy. Makes me feel like I was visiting an old friend.

To sum it up, Le Calandre to me was more about the overall experience than about the food itself. The flavor of the food was bold, straight-forward, but I found it lacking depth in flavor. What I really enjoyed was its service and the style. Chef Massimiliano’s playfulness, down-to-earth style and super friendly and personable attitude were all expressed 100% in the Le Calandre experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Come here for the overall experience if you are in the area and see how chef Massimiliano plays with classic Italian dishes.

Caffe Pedrocchi, Padova

This place was on many guide books and the online reviews mentioned a type of coffee drink that use espresso, milk foam and mint cream that is split in three layers. It’s their specialty, so I went and tried it. It was really good. Ice-cream-like consistency at the top, and hot espresso at the bottom. I don’t think it is worth going out of your way to try, but if you are in the area, definitely check it out.

Short walk back to train station in Padova

I walked from Caffee Pedrocchi to Padova train station. A pretty easy walk. I was very impressed by the streetcars in Padova. Very modern and futuristic looking!

Verona: This is where we lay our scene

Shakespeare picked Verona for his Romeo and Juliet to meet. A while back, some clever guy converted a house of that era in Verona to a tourist attraction and recreated the balcony from which Juliet would’ve had called on her Romeo! That I gotta see!

It took about an hour and a half to reach Verona by train from Padova. I was really tired by the time I arrived at my hotel at 6:30pm and still completely full from my lunch. It was already dark and it was raining, so I decided to stay in and call it a night.

Tomorrow, I’ll check out the Arena and Juliet’s balcony before I hop on my train to Turin, where I will rent a car and drive to Alba.

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