Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Lagoon City

Inevitably the Italians salvage a result and creep through into the next round. We are just about to order a further round of drinks when Darren spots that our train is now only 40 minutes late and therefore due to arrive in about five. We scramble over to the correct platform and are soon heading for Venice.

The train is Italian and not to busy so we get the end of a coach prety much to ourselves. We pick up a few more minutes and arrive in Venice as the sun is starting to set. As we cross the bridge from Mestre the smell is reminiscent of Vienna. Paul rushes off to make the most of the light while we find and check in to the Domus Civica where our accommodation is booked. In term time this is a girls' hall of residence but is now good value accommodation.  I am delighted when I am allocated the single room although I am told that it is purely on the grounds that I am the most toxic snorer.

A quick shower and change and we head out to eat. Steve has contacts here so we travel by water taxi to the oldest pizzeria in the city. Max is an excellent host and we enjoy his recommendations including the two metre pizza which is actually several pizzas served balanced on a plank. The time passes all too quickly and we have to race back to our digs in order to beat the curfew. Not easy when we are unsure of the route but we made it.

Wake up on Thursday morning well rested and with time for a morning shower. Of  late this has become an unimaginable luxury and will become so once again so I make the most of it. A stroll round as the city wakes is achieved without getting lost and I join Mick for breakfast at a pavement cafe opposite the hostel. We take a stroll as the city starts to get busier, finding ourselves at waterside dead ends a few times. Check out time loomed so we headed back to pack our bags. Steve had organised a chef led tour of the fish and fruit markets.  Fascinating stuff. Ever seen fresh borlotti beans? This was followed by a guided tour of a fabulous £1000 per night hotel with 17th century frescoes.

A route march back to the hostel in the blazing sun makes a couple of refreshments essential, one of which is a drink called a spritz made with a red syrup, white wine and sparkling water and served with ice and a slice of orange. Then it is time to go and catch our Frecciargento train for Roma.

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