My feet hurt.
Last night we took a walk along the bay discussing our time in Venice. We decided the one thing we didn’t do that would be good was to take a boat down the Grand Canal. With just our luck, there was a Vaporetto station close to where we were walking and we figured out that a public water bus would be leaving in perfect time the next morning to take us up the Grand Canal to the train station in time for our 10:27am train. Even better was that it would save us the 2 mile hike with our heavy packs on.
So we woke up this morning, got ready and set off for the vaporetto stop. Only to find a group of disgruntled and confused tourists. We went to the ticket window and the teller pointed to the sign on the window and in broken English said something of which I only caught the word “Strike”.Of course today would be the day the Vaporetto union decided they would not drive anyone around without more money.
So, with a hour before our train left, we took off to trot the just over 2 miles to the train station. It was a sweaty, back breaking 3o minutes, but we made it to the station, got our tickets and made it to our train with 12 minute to spare.
It was a bit stressful and now I am left with some aching feet.
In a couple hours we will be on a train taking us to Florence. We will be there for three days and while we are there, our apartment will not have internet connection. We will attempt to write/add photos when possible, but posts may limited for the next couple days.
Have no fear however, when we make it to Rome, our apartment will once again have constant internet!
I will say that I have been impressed by John’s mastery of the Italian language. All it takes to get around here evidently is 20 free lessons on ‘My Daily Phrase Italian’ Podcast and a good Italian/English Dictionary, as well as the time and memory to learn all your new words.
From the moment we got off the plane, John has been able to buy us tickets, order meals, ask questions about things, reply to the answers and get directions all entirely in Italian.
One woman even asked if he spoke Italian, slightly surprised when he answered only a little.
I, on the other hand, don’t have the natural propensity for language, I have a hard time sometimes with English let alone another language. However, yesterday I ordered a “One scoop, in a cone, of Mango sorbetto” all in Italian. My performance even received a “Brava!” from the sweet old lady in line behind us.
Score one point for me!
I made John go to Mass the other night, okay it didn’t take much since the Mass was being held in St. Marks Basilica, but I think that is probably a pretty good place for someone to attend their first Catholic service.
We popped in to St. Marks on Saturday when we got into Venice. It is a gorgeous building, so hard to believe it is old! Not the mention it’s built on a sinking island!
However, when you visit the basilica as a tourist, you cannot sit to enjoy the view, and I felt ushered along by the push of the crowd. What better way to be able to soak up a buildings beauty then to have 45 minutes sitting and hearing the drone of a man speak in a language you don’t understand? I enjoyed every minute of looking around, looking at the tiny details of the tiles in the floor and the statue near where I was sitting.
Photos would never do the building justice, and they don’t allow you to take your own photos anyways, but heres an image of what we were dealing with looking around. And just to clue you in, the ceilings and walls are not painted, but instead done in mosaics with tiles the size of your thumb nail.
It is 6:30am on the day we leave for Italy, and I have been wide awake for quite some time! I seriously feel like a child on Christmas morning. Except my present is a thirteen day long affair in another country. At this point, all our bags are packed with a few remaining last minute items: toiletries, iPods, the computer I am writing on. We’ve already printed our boarding passes and I have been checking that my passport is where I left practically every four hours! I am finding it hard to believe this day has finally come!
One of the things I am looking forward to the most is visiting the small Tuscan town of Chiusi. John’s sister Sara, visited there the last time she was in Italy. A friend had taken her to a little family run restaurant called Osteria La Solita Zuppa. There she said she got a great meal, and the owners (who were the servers and cooks too) knew exactly where every food came from, the farmers who grew it,and even the specific animal that was butchered for the meal. Knowing that this respect for food was right up our alley, Sara helped us pay for and find ways to make it to Chiusi for one night to eat at Solita Zuppa.
We’ll only be in Chiusi for about twenty-four hours, but I have found that I want to visit the Duomo while we are there and if possible the Labrynth of Porsenna, an underground series of tunnels used by Kings between the 7th and 5th century B.C.
We will of course let you know how it all goes but with views like these, how can Chiusi not be great?