In the immortal words of Indiana Jones as he stepped from a vaporetto in the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – “Ahhhh, Venice!” That’s not exactly the reaction I initially had when I arrived, albeit minus the cool fedora, in the spring of 2001.
After about eight and a half hours on a plane plus an additional five hours on a train, all in the same clothes, my words were more like “find me the f**kin’ hotel, a bath and a bed now!”
As we motored toward our stop at St Mark’s Square, we of course chose the boat going the long way round – the “scenic route” – no Grand Canal, no buildings awash in color. Let’s just say it was more the industrial side of town. Rolling around in my exhausted mind were phrases like: “Great! More travel – I’m sooooo excited with this trip so far! Are we there yet Papa Smurf??”
Finally we arrived to our stop. As I stepped from the vaporatto and my feet landed again on solid ground, the magic of Italy took hold and didn’t let go for over ten days. Instantly, my body no longer ached; my eyes no longer drooped; I didn’t care that I had to carry my luggage to the hotel because the wheels wouldn’t work on the cobblestones. I was in frickin’ Venice in frickin’ Italy – the home of Casanova, singing gondoliers, and endless pasta and wine. I was instantly happy – awash in the rose color of a setting sun. The picture above was the first I took and it captures the mood perfectly! Enough said – my lifelong Italian love affair had begun…