Vices And Virtues

Today I discovered a wonderland, hidden down a back alley in Venice. I was lost, having come out of a church filled with magnificent paintings, my head saturated with images, colour and light, I wandered and turned with my thoughts elsewhere until I realised I was far from any recogniseable street. Gone were the groups of tourists, cameras around their necks, guide books in hand. Instead I was alone. Narrow alleyways of cobble streets with no discernable direction surrounded me. Choosing one at random I started down. It was Venice after all. At some point I would come to a bridge or a canal that would give me the sense of my location. For me one of the pleasures of travel is the abiltiy to lose oneself in a city and really understand its soul by making your way through, open to experiencing what ever you encounter.

So, I meandered, undoubteably in circles, turning down one street or another entirely at random, passing only the occasional shop of opulent jewelry or fabulous antiques, with only the sound of my own footsteps on the cobblestones to keep me company. Then I saw it. The large glass window oozing chocolate from top to bottom. Large decorative pieces, intricate and ornate like sculptures, surrounded by waterfalls of truffles, candies fruits dipped in chocolate and all manner of chocolate confectionery. The sign over the door, in Italian, loosely translated to "Vices and Virtues". They were open. How could I not go in?

Inside it was even more marvellous. Ancient wood floors had been left bare while the walls were whitewashed and lined with pale reddish brown red shelving upon which sat piles of clear bags, boxes and containers filled with the most gloriously smooth, ebony creations. Along the back wall was a domed glass counter bursting with glass bowls and cakestands containing more divine edibles. The sea of rich brown was interspersed with a touch of colour from the nuts and fruits contained within. Everything was obviously handmade although not rustic. The hand of an artist had been at work here. It was truly as full of riches as any of the galleries I had visited earlier. 

Sitting on the counter behind the glass were 3 large copper vats. The white aproned lady behind the counter soon convinced me that supreme choice amongst all these riches was in fact a cup of pure chocolate from one of the copper vats. Containing only pure coco powder and water or alternately flavoured with coffee or milk, I chose the purist route and was soon nursing a cup of the most sinfully pure chocolate to be found on the planet. Dark, smooth and clean with that bitter sweetness that is only possible with the best, highest quality chocolate it slipped across my tongue and drenched my mouth with pleasure. Each sip warmed me from the inside, expanding and elaborating upon the subtle notes of the thick syrupy delight.

I was high on a sensory overload from the heady smell of chocolate that hung the air, the visual feast before my eyes, the rich taste and  the silken texture on my tongue. Paradise found.

Brassygirl Brassygirl
36-40, F
1 Response Mar 8, 2010

Thanks for the kind words - I do love a compliment ! Hope it made you hungry....