Cecelia Pierotti and I met through this very blog, discovering that we live not too far from each other. Over a lovely lunch in a city midway between us, we realized we have much in common besides our love for Venice.
Cecelia is a truly obsessed lover of all things Venetian. She enjoys the luxury of house sitting for friends in Venice every year, walking their dog, and taking language classes. When not in Venice, you can find her in her home violin studio, in Vallejo, California, teaching private students from four years of age through adults, or playing with her trio, Cededa, on her five string electric violin. Enjoying a long career as Vallejo’s premier violin teacher, she continues to look forward to yearly breaks in her home away!!
How has Venice seduced you?
How do I count the ways? I succumbed to its charms during my first visit there in 1979, before mass tourism reared its ugly head and it was possible to go from place to place on foot or by boat with little difficulty! Even today, when I arrive in the city, I feel such a sense of being at home….I can’t wait to get out to the far corners of the city and explore the nooks and crannies. I’ve been so seduced that there is a tattoo on my shoulder of the Lion of Venice! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about being in Venice, taking one of my many favorite walks, or stopping in a favorite place for cicchetti and a chat with friends!
What do you never fail to do in Venice?
One of my first stops during my extended stays is to go to the Chorus office to buy my church card for residents. That way I can go visit the 16 or so churches, multiple times! It’s really lovely to stop and enjoy the peace and quiet (and cool) of a church in the various sestieri, during a long walk.
What is your Venice soundtrack?
Bells!!!! Footsteps on pavement, the call of the gondolieri and the workers trying to deliver something with their “attenzione!”
Walk or take a boat?
Both….but mostly walk, early and late!
Which church or campo best epitomizes you? Please explain.
The Church of the Miracoli for its small size, a bit of a surprise off in a corner. And the campo that most epitomizes me might be Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio, for its neighborliness!
Which is your favorite Venetian festival and why?
Perhaps the Regatta Storica, since it’s the one I’ve seen the most. Lately I’ve enjoyed watching the start of it out at the Arsenale…..witnessing some of the funny almost-accidents that happen while the parade is organizing before they set out to the Bacino. I also have enjoyed the blessing of the boats the day before at the Salute….it makes me feel rather emotional.
Spritz or Bellini?
Spritz! Too many bars sell Bellini out of a bottle (which we can buy at Cost Plus here in California). But I must say that I’m expanding my repertoire these days with a Hugo or Cinico!!
What do you always tell friends to do when they visit the city?
Allow enough time to wander and get lost. Eat cicchetti and drink spritz and from there, my list is too long to write it here!!!
If you could have dinner with any Venetian, living or dead, who would it be and why? What would dinner be?
I would very much like to hang with Titian…..someone who survived more than one plague would have some stories to tell! Dinner would probably be a simple fish and such, with lots of good wine to wash it down.
Casanova: genius or cad?
What would you do with $30,000 U.S. to spend in Venice?
I would donate some to various groups that are trying to improve life for Venetian citizens…Venice Music Project comes to mind, as does WSM (a group that goes around Venice doing various clean up projects) and Venezia Autentica! But I also might save a little for myself to stay even longer than two months in Venice….
If money were no object, which palazzo would you buy?
Hmmmm, I hear Johnny Depp is selling his!!!
Which gelato flavor are you?
Prosecco and peach!
How can readers learn more about you and your creative pursuits?
My website is: vallejoviolinstudio.com
On facebook: Cecelia Pierotti, Vallejo Violin Lessons, Cededa