A Venetian Day

Yesterday Allison and I ventured to Venice for the day while Maria and Rosiemara went to the beach.  We decided that we didn’t want to  leave Italy without having seen Venice…and we made the right decision!  We took the 8:23 train and arrived in Venice at 11:30 or so.  While on the train, Allison and I put our feet up on the seats facing us.  A few minutes later, we were getting yelled at in Italian by an old man and his wife who were sitting across the aisle from us.  We couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but it was obvious that he wanted our feets off the seats, even though they were nowhere near him.  I put mine down, but Allison got a little testy with him…who was he to tell us what to do, anyhow?!  Then the train guy was coming around to stamp tickets, and the old man TOLD ON US!  I mean, a true tattletale!  Are you kidding me?!  Our feet weren’t even on the seat anymore!  Anyway, we got a good laugh out of that later…and when he got off the train in Bologna, he looked at us all smirky and said, “Ciao!  Ciao!”  About an hour later, when we got off the train, we decided to go ahead and get our return ticket home…so glad we did because that was when we saw that the last train left at 6:36!  Boo!  We really wanted to be there in the evening, but there was no train to take us back to Florence.  We immediately got onto the water ferry to take a tour of the Grand Canal, which is also called Venice’s Main Street.  Well, something went wrong and we ended up in Lido, a beach outside of Venice!  We still don’t know what happened, but after some very confusing Italian directions, we ended up back in Venice.  We wondered the streets until we found a good lunch option, and oh was it good!  I had seafood pasta that included whole-bodied shrimp, eyes and all, along with mussels, squid, and octopus.  The seafood was so fresh and whatever sauce was over it and the pasta was so tasty…a lovely lunch!  Then we got lost in Venice, which everyone says you will do and they’re not kidding, but finally found our way back to the Canal, where we met a gondolier who developed quite a crush on Allison.  Crush or not, he would not come down on the price of a gondola ride, so we kept walking and found some gelati, which is not hard to do in Italy.  What will I do without my daily gelati when I get back to the States?!  I keep trying a different flavor every time–so far I’ve had pistacchio, chocolate chip, chocolate, Nutella, melon, strawberry, lemon, raspberry, mint chocolate chip, and others I can’t even remember!  It’s so good!!!  Ok, back to Venice…after more wondering through the city, it was time for the train ride back to Florence.  We were walking to the train and realized there was no “carrozzo” number, which has been on every other train ticket we have had.  We asked the guy and he said that we had “posto non garantito” which means you are not guaranteed a seat on the train.  How did that happen?!  No idea.  We didn’t think it would be a big deal, but we ended up sitting on the floor for three hours after getting kicked out of every seat we tried.  How did THEY get tickets with seats and we didn’t?!  Anyway, it ended up being a blast because we met a lady and her daughter–Mary Rossi–who is from Ohio and she was a blast.  We had our own little party in the luggage area on the floor of a train!  She had a little “goodie bag” of wine, so we partook and enjoyed ourselves tremendously, talking like old friends.  I love when things like that happen…divine moments with strangers!  Anyway, we arrived back at the hostel around 10pm, went to bed around midnight, and now I’m off with Maria to bike through the hills of Chianti for my last day in Italy!

Ciao, bellas…