Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Venice - October 25, 2010

We set out in the drizzle, which quickly turned to light rain. We thought we’d head toward the area on the coast where the parks were but as there was quite a bit of flooding by the canal, we headed in land a bit to look for streets that are less crowded. We succeeded but eventually, the crowds found us again. After walking in the rain for a few hours, we decided to head back to the hotel to dry out our feet. Towards San Marco we go – only to find the entire piazza flooded by about 1.5 feet of water. The platforms were up to get people through the piazza, but they were narrow and the one we started on took us to the museum (where we didn’t want to go). There was a pack of 10 year olds screaming and pushing in front of us. I’m telling you, bambino, if I go for a swim, I’m taking you and three of your pals with me. No? Just try me. Si si. Kelly and I headed back out of the piazza to try to walk around San Marco rather than take an hour to walk through it on the platforms (since none of the platforms went straight across the piazza). I put on my OnStar Venice application in my head and led Kelly to his favourite gelato, only to find them closed. So we were forced to try another place, which was good. And yes, we’ve had way too much gelato, pizza, pasta and wine while we were in Italy. WAY too much. I hope my pants still fit me when we get home and I don’t find that my jeans have just been expanding with the gelato pounds.
We walked by a number of restaurants and it doesn’t look like any Italians run the restaurants, at least in the tourist areas. The gondola business is slow on a rainy, windy day. The gondola dudes weren’t even bothering with their usual “gondale, gondala?” Is that like Valerie, Valera, Valerie, Valer-a-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha? They dudes by our hotel were just sitting there, eating a panini and having a birra. Are there drinking and paddling laws here?
We came back to the room and polished off the cheese and crackers from yesterday. Kelly changed channels, looking for something in English, while I tried to pack our breakables in our luggage. Kelly found Who Wants to be a Millionaire – for Sheiks. What the heck? Don’t Sheiks already have millions? Greedy guys.
It was still raining but we decided to venture out for dinner. I had to blow dry my Teva’s as they were still wet from today’s walkabout. We went to Tavernetta San Maurizio for dinner and had pasta (for the 100th time). I had a rigatoni with olive oil, tomatoes and basil – Kelly, lasagne. It was ok. I must say, what they say about food in Venice is true – at least from our experience. It’s expensive and not very good. There was no hair in the food tonight (darn, I forgot to pluck a hair from some unsuspecting passer-by) so we had to pay for the entire meal. Half way through our meal, an American family showed up and Snooki from Jersey Shore was the daughter. Not really, but she was a good knock off. She didn’t shut up the entire time about herself and we never heard her parents utter a word except for mom, she threw in an F bomb at one point. Snooki ordered in Italian (with a NY accent) and then quickly switched to English when the waiter spoke back to her. She tried to order off the menu and get penne with Bolognese sauce but ended up getting spaghetti with Bolognese so I guess her Jersey Shore accent confused him. Service charge of 12% plus a 4 Euro cover charge – rip off since per usual, we poured our own wine and were completely ignored except when they slapped down the plates. Oh well, I guess you just build it into the price. We looked for somewhere to stop for Grappa on the way back, but didn’t find a bar so we just headed home. We depart tomorrow and we’re taking the 100 Euro water taxi (ouch) from the hotel as it’s less of a pain than dragging our luggage to the public water transit and taking 90 minutes to get there. Goodbye Venice and Italy. We’ve had a great time, experienced a lot of different provinces and cultures. We don’t have a favourite place as each place had its own charm with the people, scenery and culture. We may come back one day to visit and we’ll think of this trip as we drink our Brunello wines on our 5th and 10th anniversaries. Arrivederci!

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