Reed Our Italian Diary

Day Six

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Last day in Florence. We were eager to get on with our journey to Venice. Finally met Luigi, the owner of our B&B when we paid our tab and he was all excited because he had a new espresso machine installed in the breakfast room. We "broke it in" and both the coffee and hot chocolate were great. Luigi called us a cab – off to the train station!

Waited patiently for our train and then there was a mad rush to board, it was swamped. After finally securing two seats together in a private compartment, we settled in for a dazzling ride through the Tuscany countryside. Again, we were lucky enough to share our space with English-speakers, two sisters from Canada, one an accountant and the other an immigration judge. Nice chat.

When we arrived in Venice, we quickly figured out the vaparetto (water bus) system, bought a 7-day pass (that no one ever looked at), and chugged down the grand canal to our stop. We lugged our luggage over the Ponte Accademia (bridge), a great cardio workout. We learned that Venice is made up of 144 small islands connected by over 400 bridges, each accessible by steps up and down each side. Most bridges were small, over side canals, but the Accademia was a main bridge with many stairs. Drenched in sweat, we wandered around with our map and directions provided to us by the B&B, found our "street" (which in Illinois we’d call a narrow alley), but couldn’t quite find the B&B. So close yet so far away.

A shady character leaning against the wall, smoking a cigarette (as most Italians do), asked, "are you Mr. and Mrs. Reed?" We thought we’d died and gone to heaven. It was Christian, the manager of our B&B. He knew we’d have trouble finding it, so he’d been hanging out for two hours looking for us. I see why his mom named him Christian… he was a saint.

Down another narrow passageway to our B&B, ‘Ca Satriano, a cozy and very modern-looking (interior) B&B, with a large breakfast/socializing area. We deduced that our room was originally the servant’s quarters because it was small (but the right price) and right off the kitchen. It had an air-conditioner and shower (our room in Florence only had a tub) so we were very happy. It also had one of those funny looking toilets next to the regular toilet that shot water up in the air (as Mick Dundee said in "Crocodile Dundee", it was to… wash your bum). The room had a lovely view of a side canal (no this is not a photo of a jail).

For the rest of the day, and into the evening, we wandered through the "streets" and got to know our way around. Here we are in the Campo (neighborhood square) San Stefano. We also saw some gondoliers waiting for romantic tourists. Dora poses in Campo San Maurizo, the campo closest to our B&B, and Mark and Dora pose on the Ponte Accademia, overlooking the grand canal. Dora loved to watch the artists who were thicker than flies in July, and Mark (being the history buff that he is) imagined Venicians gathering water from their campo’s well that he’s leaning against. But we saw nothing more awe inspiring than the grand canal at sunset.

What a day! What a beautiful city! After a late dinner of pasta and fish, we were ready to drop.

Back to the B&B and to bed after another stunning day.


Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven
Day Eight | Day Nine | Day Ten | Day Eleven | Day Twelve | Day Thirteen | Day Fourteen