Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Venice - it was a dark and stormy night...

Wednesday 26 September 2007

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation.”

It was a dark and stormy night. There was thunder followed by lightning which was followed by rain. And not just ordinary rain. This was Venice rain. The sort that brings out the umbrella vendors and floods the pavement completely. We caught the vaporetto to Santa Lucia railway station to buy our tickets for the overnight in Modena then took refuge in a church, with lots of other wet and bedraggled tourists. That wasn’t me sitting there doing a crossword puzzle. Heck no. And it was interesting walking from the railway station back to Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Afterwards we had a contest to see who could pour the most water out of their shoes.

But later on, we had a Lavena moment. Only those who frequent that café of cafés will know what I am talking about. Let’s just say that whenever I drink my cappuccino at home, from my Lavena cup – I get to relive it – if I shut my eyes very tightly and play the video I made of the Lavena band striking up and playing both Moon River followed by the theme song from Room With a View.

Then we did a lap of window shopping clear round Piazza San Marco. At each jewelry store the gold shone brighter and the rings got bigger. “Ostentatious!” declared Alessandro. “Glorious!” I replied.

Do you know, we discovered that at 4.15pm, there was no crowd at all lined up to enter the Cathedral. What good fortune for us! In we went. San Marco - gold mosaic, the bronze horses, the views, the Pal d’Oro – and just as we walked round a corner and it appeared in front of our eyes, a chorus began. At first I thought it was just in my head, but after a few moments I realized it was a choir singing.

“Follow that nun!”
Oh my gosh did I wish I hadn’t uttered those words on the way home from our restaurant in Campo San Provolo. God only knows where that nun was going, but it wasn’t back to our convent hotel. Oh well, a walk through Castello is a walk worth while. And finally we came to a calle that I knew would take us straight to Campo Santa Maria Formosa.

Afterthought: h’mm, I hope the painting I bought fits in my suitcase.

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