Last night we were commenting about how fabulous the food has been on this trip and laughing at the fact that for our last night in Volterra we were eating leftover cold pizza for dinner. Truthfully, I did warm it up on the stove (which we finally figured out how to use on the last day of our stay). Duh!
A storm blew in and kept us awake a good part of the night. You know those old movies where the wind whips through the lands and there is a loud howling and a chill that you can almost feel in your bones? Well, sleeping in a building that was built in the 1400’s had that effect. We feel like we were in our own “Gone With The Wind” movie – literally. Ricardo is calling it Hurricane Guido.
Today is a travel day.
We left our beloved Volterra for Venice. We’ve never been to Venice and really didn’t have any desire to visit, and yet, here we are looking forward to experiencing what everyone has told us is magnificent.
The drive into the Florence train station was harrowing. It was quite a storm with thunder and lightening and a GPS that would stop talking to us at times. We’re not sure if she was mad at us for not making some turns, or if she was disconnected due to the storm. In any event, we went around in circles for a while, being just 5 km away from the train station. Frustrating!
We finally got into Florence, streets flooded from this storm. We turned in the car and grabbed a taxi to the Florence train station. The train station was an absolute mess – many trains were canceled because of the storm, and some were late (like ours). People and luggage were stacked up everywhere.
Our ticket didn’t have our seat number which was strange. We stood in line to talk to a ticket taker so they could issue a corrected ticket – but no – we didn’t have the right code. So we had to wait until the train arrived and talk to the conductor. Can you imagine how much fun that was with hundreds of people try to get on and off trains…. and get on the train at the right car number with our luggage? Finally, the conductor told us to just get on and we’d sort it out later. We got on the train at car 3 and the car we were supposed to be on was car 11.
After almost 1/2 hour of traversing the train, car by car we get to car 11 and someone is in our seats. We tried to communicate that those were our seats. The man just looked at us like so what? He wasn’t moving. It was a stare down until I finally said I would speak to the conductor and they got up. Geez.
We get to Venice and we could relax. We knew Antimo Cimino (our travel consultant, owner of Voomago) would be at the Venice train station to greet us and take us under his wing for the next few weeks. Yay!
We took a bus to our hotel. Understand that any transportation I talk about is on the water. So the bus was a water bus. Actually quite nice and easy to get on and off.
It was pouring rain in Venice too – oh well. We grabbed umbrellas and walked on. Antimo took us on a walk around the city to get a feel for the area. We visited a music museum (very unusual instruments mixed in), a couple of churches (out of 88 still functioning churches – there used to be 139), art around the town that is currently being exhibited at an art festival. And we popped into a few places to look at the beautiful Murano glass objects and jewelry.
Art that is part of this city-wide exhibit.
Lunch at the hotel. We were all starving by 3:00!
More glass art around and in this courtyard.
View of a side canal from our room.
So at the end of the day, our credit card company let us know our card had fraudulent charges on it. Not what we wanted to deal with – but had to cancel the card before more charges were incurred. You know those fraudulent emails you get that say “we are in Italy and lost our credit card – send money.” That could be us, but we’re not sending you that email – however, you could send money! (Just kidding.) Crazy day! Short video of rush hour in Venice.