Wow. I mean WOW. Seabourn handled customs into Venice Italy. We took a bus from the Odyssey, right outside the terminal. Unbelievable. No lines, no stamp in the passport (well, it’s probably stamped, I’ll have to check). We were dropped off outside the cruise ship terminal and took the “people mover” as Nina Croze the owner of the flat we’ve rented told us to do. That took us to a terminal which was a short walk to the vaporetto stop. A vaporetto is a water buss. There are probably eight vaporetto lines that run from the cruise ship terminus to various stops throughout Venice and even go to the islands of Murano and Burano.
We took the #2 vaporetto four stops to Zattere, Venezia. It was that easy. I called Nina from the cruise ship terminal and again before stepping onto the vaporetto. I got a “free message” saying “the party you are calling is not available at this time”.
We were warned more than a few times abord the Seabourn Odyssey that there would be ten cruise ships docked today and that with ten or twenty thousand people disembarking there could be a 90 minute wait for a vaporetto and a 60 minute wait for a taxi. I do not doubt that was the case later in the morning. We departed early and while there were short lines at the ticket kiosks, there were no significant delays.
Stepping off the vaporetto at Zattere, I called Nina once again and she answered. Nina is a very voluble happy gal. We had a brief conversation about our trip, arrival, where were we and that her husband,Tony, would meet us in a few minutes, About ten minutes later, Tony walked up, asked if I was Ron Leavitt and walked us 400 meters to the flat.
The apartment is exactly as shown on homeaway. It is ground floor, tiled, and newly renovated with lots of outlets for electronics and charging, huge windows which let in adequate light, and a door opening onto an inside courtyard. This is great and it is the largest of the flat’s we’ve rented thus far.
We walked the immediate neighborhood, then visited a super market, which was actually a supermarket, but with a butcher. Have you ever visited an Italian butcher? No? They are old school in the best sense of the phrase. We bought some prosciutto de Parma, sopresatta, bread, cheese, and other stuff. The meats are whole slab. You want prosciutto, they bring down the whole cured ham and slice, slice, slice. We had a bit of trouble getting amounts right, Ellen wanted .125 Kilo, the fellow asked 120? I said yes and we got .120 Kilo of proscuitto and another .120 of sopresatta. Initially I mispronounced sopresatto and we had a few funny moments before the connection was made and the slice, slice started. We also bought some eggplant lasagna and one thick cut tomato with a cheese herb topping. Food wise it is hard to beat the Italians. Heaven… and the bread. Oh…
We walked side streets back “home” walking over at least four bridges over the canals. We both collapsed on the firm bed for a siesta before our next adventure.
We’ll unpack later, for now we’ll stroll around and get our bearings.
I asked Tony for local restaurant recommendations, the restaurants he would frequent to avoid typical foreign cuisine: no hamburgers, franks, or ersatz pasta dishes when we can eat some of the best prepared foods in the world. We have a list of six restaurants ranging from typical family style to somewhat expensive depending on the wine you order. I’ve already “adopted” Nina and Tony.
Ellen just awoke and I’m sure she is itching to get out and do some exploring. I wonder what musical events are playing tonight. We’ll see.
Tomorrow friends from Germany are flying in to spend the weekend with us. Marcus and Alexandra have visited us in the states when they vacation in Hawaii. We’re a brief stop-over for them and helps break up a very long flight. Now we’re close to their home turf. This will be fun.
Over and Out for now…