Saturday, December 6, 2008

Venice Day 3: Slightly Gray Friday

After a large meal, it would make sense that I slept late and woke up slowly. Not so. I had a train to Padova (Padua for those of you who have had to slog through a Shakespeare play or two in your life). Because I woke up in such a rush and so early though I forgot the fantastic itinerary Rachel had written out for me. 8 Euros later we were in a train headed out of the scenic Venice to the...err...less scenic parts of Northern Italy. It's a relief to know such places exist, I have to say. A place can be too pretty.

That having been said, not-pretty places are...not pretty. Add a low temperature, just above freezing, and rain with a dash of hardcore wind, and you have Padova. We got out at a busy train station and not knowing how ot get to the old city we were left to wander the streets aimlessly.

A WORD ON ITALIAN DRIVERS- As Catholics, they don't fear any death, theirs OR yours. Don't say I didn't tell you. InVenice downtown there aren't but a handful of cars; it's one of its notice when they're back.

Here's a list of things we hit despite the weather's best efforts:

The univeristy
Really pretty and old, wish I'd had the time to hang out there. I love the schoalrly, somewhat unruley feel of a good campus! The highlight at the uni this week appeared to be a fellini screening.

Cafe Pedrocci
I know I didn't spell it right. It's an airy marbled cafe that takes the word breakfast deadly serious.

A spiffy but drafty domed cathedral with mustard walls and red bricked exterior fitted to have facades mechanically attached.

The City Hall
in a full noel mode. Not unlike ours in Berlin...or Arlington, Texas' for that matter.

Thereafter we pulled what Germans would call a "Stadtrundfahrt" and trudged frozenly to the station where I figured out how to use the ticket machine and then participated in the first annual TRACK 2 TO TRACK 6 NOT SO FUN RUN with success. We even found seats in the train together.

That afternoon we just hung out, watched a little TV, read, just acted like a "normal family on vacation" even did a little shopping, till that evening, when I adjourned myself to pick up boyfriendo at the train station after which we all went to dinner at a local pizza place. None of us, of course, ordered pizza, and-- in fact-- ordered a list of pastas so diverse that the waiter was prompted to say "4 types of sauce? The chef will be happy" sarcastically. Gotta say hough, it was worth it! After a very yummy meal mom and dad went to bed, havingto wake up at the criminally early 3:30AM to get a butt-crack-of-dawn flight out. Did I ever share that saying goodbye sucks? Well, it does.

The hour was, however, pretty early, and Phil and I weren't particularly tired, so we went to a local-looking wine bar I'd passed the previous night in the Jewish quarter. It had 2 groups already cozily settled in, a boisterous crowd f 30-somethings celebrating something or other in Italian, and some Austrian men. At the Italian table was a guy who'dclearly had too much and clearly wasn't with that party. While he sat there being obnoxious, party guests kept going outside to smoke. This continued till we got up for another round of vino at which point about 800 lbs. of Italian POLIZIA came barelling in. I sat down RIGHT quick. Though the conversation was in Italian, here's what I understood:

-What's going on?
-I was just...
-How much have you had?
-Maybe two
-Ok, let's go

at which point the four hustled him to the door with one of the dandies at the party filming from outdoors. Drunk guy wasn't going so easily though and grabbed the door, forcing a little old school negotiationg. The manager then appeared, speaking rapid Italian to the party, taking their empty wine bottle and ending one sentence with "PROSECO!" I guess they got a consolation prize. For me and Phil's part we got an apology in French that this had jamais happened before and we was very desolee. No need ot apologize though! We'd not been inconvenienced in the least!

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