I slept well, but I woke up pissed. off. I think my subconscious must have worked through my day and I was just mad that I had been SO excited to come to Venice for Carnivale and I was SO let down. There was a line for breakfast (Italian hotels are not well-prepared for 300 hungry American kids. Can't say I blame them - I never want to have to be prepared for that.) and my annoyance only grew. We had to shovel down breakfast in under 10 minutes to check out and get on the bus...which was late because there was a traffic accident. Another day in Venice off to a brilliant start.
Today, however, I was NOT going down without a fight. You wanna take me down Venice? Well I'm going to fight right back. And, in true Gillianasana style, I did. With food.
That would be an apple, a pear, 2 kiwis, 3 packs of crackers, 2 packs of german bread, and 2 mini jars of honey and jam stolen from breakfast. Revenge is sweet. And full of carbs.
Our first stop Sunday was the island of Murano to see a glass-blowing demonstration at a glass factory. On the boat there, the tour guide we had actually really knew her stuff. The glass factories used to be in the city of Venice, but back in the day, all the buildings were made of wood. This was a major fire hazard with all the glass factories around, so the government moved them all to the island of Murano. The glass-blowing demo was TOO cool. I could have watched it all day.
He made these right in front of us in a total of about 10 minutes:
It. was. ridiculous! Although the guy who was talking us through the demo as the artist worked made some crack about how women could never be glass blowers because a glass blower can't talk and work at the same time. I was not amused.
We hopped back on the boat much too quickly. The views from the boat were gorgeous though. Venice may not have treated us well, but at least the weather did.
Yes, that tower is leaning. I think it's an Italian thing.
The next island we went to was Burano, a very small but charming island known for its brightly-painted houses. They were painted in crazy colors so that sailors could easily see the island at all times of day and night.
I LOVED it and want to live there. Or more specifically, here:
We did NOT get enough time on this island. I could have stayed there all day. It was so peaceful, tranquil...so not Venice! We barely had enough time to buy mediocre sandwiches and hop back on the boat.
We went back to Venice after that. My friends and I were on a Venetian Mission, which included:
1) Operation Stay Away from Tourists
2) Operation Cappuccino
3) Operation Gelato
Number one was surprisingly easy - we just walked in the opposite direction of San Marco, where the Carnivale fesitvities were at large. And then, we discovered the true Venezia...
Random street percussionists. Really cool sound. I thought of Ernesto.
On one of the many lovely bridges
Marissa ed io!
Having finally found the beautiful Venezia we had been hoping for, we set out on Operation #2: Cappuccino.
Espresso = perfection. (Friends, anyone?)
Look at the sweet espresso machine! I think Mocha Java should get one.
Once fortified with caffeine in its most delicious form, we began Operation #3: Gelato. And oh yes, did we succeed.
Pear and tiramisu. (I didn't eat them together, I just like those individual flavors.)
If you have yet to taste the pure joy that is tiramisu gelato...get on that. It will change your life. Or at least, your tastebuds.
Needless to say, Venetian Mission: Accomplished.
We got home around 9 PM, tired and hungry. But all in all, I am glad I went. Yesterday was very nice, even though I do wish we had had more time to spend on the two little islands.
Moral of the story: Go to Venice. Just not during Carnivale.
P.S. - I was waiting in the bathroom line in a cafe, and looked up at their clock...