Ciao Venezia. Andiamo Firenza
OK, four words of the day. Pretty soon you're going to be speaking Italian.
We said goodbye to Venice today and drove SmartCar to Florence. If it's so smart, how come we got so lost trying to find the hotel? Oh wait, I mean the palace, and I mean it. 15th century, 4 stories tall (by the way, each floor has 40 foot ceilings), chocolates on the pillow, slippers, heated towel rack in the bath. Oh and the suite, it's HUGE! Check out the photos, but I know for sure our bedroom is bigger than our cottage in ME. We are grateful to Lucy Minder for helping us out by checking on things seeing that it's seemingly been snowing in ME since we left.
Back to our day. We woke up early and slightly hung over, but excited because Davide invited us to Murano (small island a mile or so away) to his studio. Well, the morning could not have been better. Breakfast waiting outside our door; beautiful sunny skies. It was great. We left the house shortly after 9am to hit AMEX to cash some travellers checks. Realizing now that they were totally unnecessary. Travel tip: Most big banks here will gladly take your ATM card and dispense Euros. Isn't capitalism great?
Well, the next hour of our lives can only be described as one of my big mistakes. Our directions to the boat stop for Murano were given to us in relation to where we were staying. AMEX is by Piazza San Marco, so no, we didn't get lost. It turns out there are two stops in the same vicinity. Yes, we went to the wrong one; got on the local boat; and basically, circled Venice before heading to Murano. Thought PJ was going to kill me, but we survived.
After a stop at cemetary island (no Boss, no Tatoo, no planes for that matter), we arrived on Murano. Of course, at the wrong end of Murano for Davide's studio, so off we trekked. Well, I can only say look at our photos and add one million percent to even come close to describing how beautiful it was. Every piazza has a glass sculpture. All different things, but all beautiful.
Half way to Davide's studio, we hear someone calling my name. How can it be? Turns out, we walked right by Rossanna's (Davide's wife) store. She recognized us. Gave us a tour of her store and brought us to the studio and showroom. Again, just look at the pictures. I am speechless. Really.
Murano glass studio pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/rpjwalter/Murano
We bought glasses for our house and presents for Uncle Mario/Aunt Adrianna and Lucia & Romano. On the way back, we stopped at the store, and Rossanna invited us for cena (lunch). Kids finish school by 1pm and return home for afternoon meal. Pasta was excellent, and the parmaggiano reggiano belicimo! After a short boat back to Venice. It was back to the B&B for our luggage; one more battle with three flights of stairs; the Rialto Bridge; and the final boat ride. Turns out, after the third time I got it right.
We found SmartCar where he was supposed to be in the garage. Hit the road and did great until we got lost in Florence. Who cares? The suite is beautiful; we ate an awesome dinner; drank a bottle of wine; and now it's off to bed. More to come..................