Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Our week long stay in Monticchiello had come to an end. The little Citroen C3 was chokkas full of our cases - why is it that on your first big overseas trip, you pack more than you need. We travel with less these days.
I think Tuscany was sad to see us leave as the sky was crying. We had rain most of the way but by now I was comfortable driving in all conditions with the steering wheel on the opposite side.
The drive took us by the many towns we never had time to visit. The signs enticed us to Cortona, Arezzo, Prato, and Bologna as we drove along the A1 before diverting to Venice on the A13 to Padua.
We decided we wanted to be in Venice as early as possible to explore as soon as we arrived - well that was a silly notion. I think it took as much time to find our hotel as it did to drive to Venice.

What more can I say - this is Venice as we all imagined!!

The view from San Marco on a rainy day as the water encroaches on the Piazza.

The bridge of sighs where between the Palazzo Ducale and the prison.

On arriving at the Tronchetto parking island we were escorted by what we thought were very thoughtful and courteous valets to our waiting water transport to Venice proper. WRONG!!
These guys were Venice Cowboys soliciting motor boat transportation at incredibly high taxi fares compared to the normal water buses. We were ushered down flights of stairs and out of the car park to some shaky wharf to be whizzed off with one or two other couples. Oh, well - you live and learn. And we did because on our return journey a few days later we took the water bus.

And how lovely is the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal?
 We arrived just near Piazza San Marco by the cowboy water taxi and our first view was of Palazzo Ducale.
With my hand in my pocket, I paid our fare and before I knew it, the water taxi was gone to look for other unsuspecting souls like us.
With map in hand, we walked the labrynth of Venice with no idea where to find our hotel. Sue need to stop and absorb her inner self before returning to the map. Being the Mule, I quite enjoyed the rest and took off my back pack and leaned against a wall for less than 5 minutes before we were off again. Before I knew it, I was less one backpack. PANIC. I couldn't remember what was in it. Our travel documents, I don't remember. Back and forth but no backpack to be found.

These two photos were taken from either side of the Rialto bridge
We finally found our hotel and reported our stolen/lost backpack. Sue hates me, I feel so miserable.
The people at the hotel when told of our predicament were so helpful and our room was lovely after a full on stressful day.

The following day we emerged from our hotel to discover Piazza San Marco flooded. The Piazza was set up with trestle type walk ways so the tourists didn't get their little cotton socks wet, while the locals wore gum boots.

We were walking on the trestles when confronted with a swarm of Japanese tourists, all with cameras raised at eye level. We turned and scampered away before almost being pushed into the knee deep in water.

We spent the whole day just wandering the streets and taking in the truly uniqueness of Venice. Our afternoon coffee was interrupted by the familiar accent of Aussies and we couldn't help ourselves in joining in with them. They were a bunch of mature women enjoying a crusine tour and cooking classes.

That evening we had no idea where we would eat so we decided to just stroll the narrow passageways and let our noses choose the way. I can't remember our meal but I do remember striking up a conversation with a couple from California, well San Francisco really. I do like their relaxed accent. I told them that I spent a summer there in 79 and they said that I was fortunate to be there at that time. They had recently move to one of the outlining wine growing valleys and had become disenchanted with SF city life.

Our stay in Venice was short but very moving and the photographs bring back pleasant memories despite the trauma of losing my backpack and the documents that I believed may have been inside. But this all had a very strange twist to it and more will be revealed next Wednesday.


  1. I thought you were going to reveal what happened to the missing backpack, but no so will wait patiently till next week for the twist in the tale!

  2. It's a bit like a "Ladybird" - Wishing I was in France tale, isn't it?
    All will be revealed next week.

  3. Leon & Sue, I simply have no idea what you are talking about (she said, tongue in cheek!) ;) Can't wait for the outcome!
    Btw, Lovely photos of Venice - inspite of the rain. Martine

  4. Ladybird - you are the Agatha Christie of Blogland

  5. Have you ever watched "Italian for beginners" and "Bread and tulips"?
    Venice is a pretty amazing place.
    I would love to go back there again soon.

  6. Nadege,
    I've just googled them and watche the trailers - off to the video shop now - seeya.

  7. Nadege,
    The well in the trailer was in the square opposite our hotel. WOW!


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