venezia by slippers
it was gonna be our last day at ludovisi palace on via veneto. since ferdie was still sick and coughing all night i couldnt get back to sleep after 5am so i decided to start packing, ready for checkout. didnt realize that the small luggage i brought would not be enough to keep all my stuff in. went back to sleep and waited for breakfast.
met dante down the lobby at around 8.30 and they were packed as well. aside from checking out, we were getting ready to leave for venezia. we got tickets the day before and were scheduled to board the train at around 10am.
venice is exactly 4 hours away from rome via eurostar. supposedly the fastest train in europe, i believe it’s around the same speed as our mrt lines running across edsa. but of course this is cleaner and seats are numbered, upholstered etc. on the pic to your left is dante and me. pie is seated across the aisle, next to her italian military guy stranger hehe
one thing we forgot was to buy lunch. and by 2pm we were really hungry. of course the italians who were seated beside us had started eating their baon pastriamis (sandwiches) and we could only stare.
ive said before italy has a lot of graffiti. at the railway to venezia we pass by tunnels and wall fences covered with the same kind of graffiti, words stylized written all over. interesting to note, they follow a particular style and is unique to its US counterpart. the window view also gave us a peak of the famous italian countryside. greens, olive trees and italian villas scattered all over. very beautiful
we arrived at venice by 3.30pm. famished and tired, we decided to buy a map first, change our ticket schedule for the next day’s trip to a later time, and get a hotel. i was amazed that stepping out of the terminal one is already greeted with a view of venetian chapels and its canals. very picturesque ! we’re finally in venice !
if rome were manila, venezia would be boracay ! lots of young tourists and the air is very festive. there is a particular energy hovering over the crowd and the streets. venice is a group of islets connected with foot bridges. there are no cars traversing through venice. to travel, one takes the ferry or water taxis that cruise through its canals or simply walk. everybody in venice walks !
from the train station we started walking east and hoping to find a good enough but cheap hotel. we were offered by a stranger earlier to bunk in at their family hotel for 70 euros a night (3beds shared bathroom). apparently there wasnt anything else cheaper than that so we detoured to hotel leonardo, which turned out to be a cozy place to stay, found in the inner streets of venice.
for the last 3 days of airtravel and going around rome ive been wearing my shoes and closefriends know that i am not akin to wearing shoes all the time ! so in venice, despite protests of the fact that nobody wears them in italy, i wore my beachwalk (not havaianas!) flipflops on the streets of venezia. coolness !
hungry we found a little shop that sold big pizza slices for 2euros. not bad, and thank God it tasted great as well. dante and pie then had gelato (ice cream) and sat on benches facing the street for some people watching. since im lactose intolerant i was wary of eating gelato so i opted for yoghurt, which was ok but too sweet for my taste.
we then started walking down south en route to the piazza san marco, which is supposed to be a major destination for venezia. we took our time enjoying the sights of the place, the crowd, the streets of venice, its architecture and the shops, ice cream and the gondolas.
my dad told me i had to ride the gondola, and i would have if it werent so friggin expensive ! 80euros is pretty steep for a ride on a boat, even if it was in venice. besides i would probably have to eat my slippers for dinner if i were to take the famous romantic boat ride. unfortunately the gondola drivers dont sing opera as well while you go and it’s better to take the trip when youre with a loved one. ill save the ride for the next time im in venice.
it was only when we were in venice that we realized its culture and history were full of masquerading and the theater. the shops of venice sold a lot of masks of varying degrees of simplicity and intricate, exuberant design. they were absolutely fantastic and i wished i could have bought at least one of the lavishly decorated ones. i decided to just get the bare, white ones as souvenirs.
nearing the piazza san marco we came across this bridge at dusk and were overwhelmed by the magnificent view of the canals at sunset. everywhere we looked lovers began pulling their partners close, got googoo-eyed and started kissing on the bridge. it was really romantic and wonderful and to be awed by the beauty of venice would just put you under its spell. unfortunate for us 3 loveless beings, we couldnt help but bask in the magnificent view and lament on being single in venice. *sigh*
finally we got to piazza san marco and it was a sight to marvel at. the square was surrounded by tall venetian architecture and flanked by the basilica at one end. there were cafes open that night and string quintets on each cafe. when one band started playing the crowd moved to that cafe and the other bands would stop playing. as soon as they finish a song or two, the band in the other cafe started playing and the crowd would move towards them. sometimes theyd play a crowd pleaser but a lot of times theyd play romantic songs and some couples would start dancing to it.
we sat in one of the cafes al fresco and the band started playing il mundo, which is my parents’ love theme. so i got that on video. we then ordered beer and wine just to get into the feel and mood, basking in the moment of being in venice and the emotions that surround us. when the bill came we were not only charge our drinks but music as well. good thing there were 3 of us because if it were just me and my beer, it would have cost me around 25euros ! yikes.
we slowly walked back to our hotel, stopping by a few more shops along the way. there were less people on the streets and the night air was colder than in rome. a lot of armani and versace shops and other clothing boutiques around. i love how italians dress up, theyre not sloppy dressers for one thing. most of their clothes are tailorfit and sharp. very casual but very clean, unlike americans and their hiphop style or excessively sexy, almost-nothing-there clothing. of course the weather also affords them to dress up in layers, that way you can dress up in cotton, wool and other fabrics. colors are also limited to dark tones. blacks and greys, deep reds and dark blues, natural shades of hide, nothing bright. and dont get me started on the shoes! casual or dress shoes, leather or suede, panalo siya! very sleek and fit. love it !
nearing the hotel we started to get hungry so we stopped over a nearby restaurant at around 10pm and ordered pasta. i had spaghetti al ragu (meat sauce) and it tasted great. nothing fancy, puttanesca was expensive and the last time i had that in rome didnt thrill me that much. their water were bottled in glass, not plastic and sold like coke litro. and it came in naturale or sparkling haha. olive oil is in abundance of course in italy because olive trees grow everywhere, like utot-utot in the pilipinas ! haha
our hotel room is small, with a bigbed for two and an extra bed, which i took. airconditioning is non-existent at this part of the world and we had to close the windows lest we freeze to death during the night. tomorrow we head off to murano and check out the now dying art of glassblowing.
bridge near the train station;
album cover for benjamin in venice ost
buona serra ! to be continued