Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In November It Rains in Venice

I first heard it in the early morning hours. The gentle patter of rain on the roof outside the small dormer windows in our room. While a rainy day in Venice may sound romantic to some, the reality was the rain was cold and the winds fierce. The force of the wind was intensified by being funneled down the narrow streets.

An old piece of luggage we were carrying with us had fallen apart and needed to be replaced before the next leg of our trip. By mid morning the wind had also made mincemeat or our umbrella requiring that it too would need replacing. We found it ironic that one of the lead stories on the BBC that morning was about a tornado in our neighboring state of Indiana. Particularly considering the tempest going on outside our hotel.We had breakfast, with cappuccino's and headed out into the elements.

Many of the shops bore awnings allowing us to stay somewhat dry as we gazed in the windows at the colors and varieties of Murano Glass objects inside. The suitcase was purchased in one shop along with a red plaid umbrella which we still own but seldom use as it has become an admittedly silly but treasured memento of the trip.

We ran across a small restaurant and ducked inside, suitcase and umbrella in tow. We noshed on a cheese platter and downed more cappuccinos as we looked at our city map and planned our nest move.

The public transportation system of Venice is a fleet of boats that ply the canals. We decided to take the route that goes past the back of the city, a place rarely experienced by tourists, out to the city cemetery and then to the glass factories and showrooms on the islands of a Murano before depositing us at the dock down the street from our hotel. We could stay dry inside the boat and see various areas of the city from the water.

The wind whipped the water into choppy waves and blew the rain into the interior of the boat. Although we stayed somewhat dry, staying completely so proved to be an impossible task. When we returned to the hotel we were damp and shivering.

In our room we changed into dry clothes slinging our wet ones over the ancient log rafters to dry. The rain having abated, we returned to the street. Trash cans overflowed with ruined umbrellas. When the trashcans had been filled to capacity people had simply abandoned their tattered, inside out brollies beside them creating twisted piles of metal and fabric.

We dined at the same restaurant as the previous night, inside this time. As it was a quiet evening with few customers, the owner spent time with us reciting as exhaustive history on the origins of Italian Grappa before having us sample it. Pleasantly buzzed, we returned to our room.

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