D&IWE: Italia Part 3: the Italianing

So on our way out of Zurich, a key portion of my recharging apparatus decided to leave this cruel world behind, leaving me with no way to charge my iPod, and needing to split Ian’s semi-functional charger to get any power in my phone or Kindle. And since Ian’s phone is both his camera and the way he shoots, edits and uploads videos, his phone always takes priority over mine, which absent of WiFi is simply the way I check the time.

Also it’s his charger so he was probably gonna call dibs anyway.

Venice!

Time to wander

Our time in Rome and Florence was incredibly rushed compared to Paris. We perhaps could have used an extra day or two in Paris, but in Rome we barely felt we were scratching the surface. Other than the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, we saw things but never got to explore them. We saw the Vatican but didn’t go in. We saw the Vittoriano monument but didn’t go up top. We did see Tiber Island but it is seriously underwhelming.

But in Venice we had more time. Enough time to really wander the Floating City. Including one day where it wasn’t floating as much as it should have.

Things get wet

Our first two days in Venice were gorgeous. Sunny and warm as Italy had been for most of our visit. Day three it rained. Not hard, but enough to warrant buying umbrellas before bussing to Venice proper from our hotel on the mainland. We were prepared: we’d done our canal tour the previous day and planned to do indoor stuff while it rained.

By the time we reached San Marco square, home of the basilica and palazzo we intended to visit, water levels were rising. Large puddles had formed across the square. Undeterred, we found the entrance line for the basilica and went in to get us some nice, dry history.

Parts of the entrance were flooded, but they already had crude bridges constructed. Not a worry.

From the church’s balcony you could see the whole of the square. At first I thought the line to get in had gotten much bigger, given the long stream of people in front of the building. On closer examination it became clear: it wasn’t a line-up. It was traffic build-up on the one portion of the square that was still above water. But the rain had diminished. Surely the worst had passed?

Next was the palace adjacent to the church, former seat of power for Venice’s ruling body and courts. We explored the building, saw the extravagant paintings (man but renaissance Italy was not afraid of painting balls) and stores of weaponry from swords to spears to early guns. As we began to leave, Ian jumped to avoid a puddle.

“That was close,” he said. “Almost got my feet wet.” Then we rounded the corner and saw the square.

There was no dry strip. Not anymore. The square was flooded, reaching knee-deep in places.

We waded our way north, to less flooded regions, taking note of how prepared Venice was for this. Plank bridges and wading boots were everywhere. Street vendors stopped selling questionable souvenirs and started selling plastic slip-ons to keep your shoes and pants dry. Of course by the time we saw them it was already far too late for us.

But in the end we wouldn’t have traded it. Venice in the sun was beautiful, but Venice under water was an experience.

Next time: two nights in Switzerland.

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