From Italy

trip through Italy

Venice Day 2

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So the run training could commence again with the ankle settling down a little . I had a couple of Venetians to pace me early ; one on water and one on land. After breakfast we headed over the Accademia and Rialto bridges back to Piazzale Roma to get info on boats to Croatia. Found the Venezia lines office eventually with no-one at the office so got the web address and booked online for trip to Rovinj. Lunch in the shade by a canal was then in order . I ordered swordfish , which must be some Mediteranean fish served whole – obviously not a Pacific Swordfish. After that we headed back over the bridge and on to Piaza San Marco – which I guess is the big centre – with a visit to a church  displaying old musical instruments and the story of Vivaldi. A large square with old buildings surrounding it including the famous Basilica – which was closed to visitors as we arrived after 5. There was several bands playing  and the already expensive drinks had an 11.40 Euro music supply charge  added. After dinner , Pizza and icecream , we were off the Chiesa San Vidal for some culture , Vivaldi concertos by an Italian group Interpreti Veneziano – with a very animated small orchestra especially the Cellist. Vivaldi had it right even 400 years ago  – make the movements 2-3 minutes so the audience doesn’t get bored – he would have sold a lot of singles! .

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Venezia Santa Lucia ( Venice)

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So the  plan was train to Milan , stop for a couple of hours ,train to Venice. So  I bought tickets to Milan – first class as 2nd class was sold out. Pretty much the whole trip the scenery was just built up areas . At Milan we tried to find storage for our bags but found it too difficult so we bought tickets for Venezia Santa Lucia – you just have to know to enter the right thing in the ticket machine. The built up areas of Milan soon gave way to large area of farmland consisting mainly of corn and later grapes. The train travels very fast , the  top speed must be around 200km/h ,2:40 for 280km with stops. On arriving in Venice we got the tourism office to book a hotel for us and then found our way to the ferry ( not the size of a Sydney ferry) to take us around the Grand canal to Salute , the stop nearest our quaint 2 star hotel. After a long pleasant walk and getting lost , which is easy to do as there is no “ring road ” as such round any of the islands and it is a maze of canals and narrow streets, we went for dinner at a place serving authentic Italian food . I must admit we were both pleasantly surprised by Venice and it is much cleaner that we thought it would be . I don’t know that I’d swim in the water ( there is too much traffic anyway) but there appears to be normal green weed growing and plenty of fish.

 

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Como

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So the running has been put on hold due to Rick’s ankle injury and Lil’s tight calves. So this morning it was a walk around part of Lake Como prior to breakfast followed by more walking after breakfast. The lake looks a little polluted and was apparently declared unsafe for swimming in 2007.There is certainly still wildlife in it with many fish spotted and we managed to spot a snake swimming towards a wall on the edge of the lake ( see the pics below) , Don’t what Italian is for snake so the group of local boys only finally got excited when we repeatedly pointed for them to look . It disappeared I presume up one of the drains into the lake.  After lunch in a shaded hotel , we went for a boat ride on the lake . With long queues for the official rides we went with the 5 euro option ” a 35 minuta nona stoppa we comea back” – which was exactly what we got and descriptions only in Italian – though I tried to decipher the French repetition from the people next to me. It was a pleasant enough trip particularly since we were feeling the increased temperatures after coming from the alps.Another walk and a bit of shopping and a late dinner in front of the grand church- though we only had “first plates” and a “medium” beer. All Italian menus seem to have “first plates” – usually consisting of a small serve of pasta then “2nd plates ” the  main meal.Como was pretty enough but I suspect the lake may even be better and cleaner further North.

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Grund / Grindelwald to Como in Italy

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Left our self contained apartment in Hotel Bodenwald at 8 a.m., after muesli and fruit for breakfast.  Took train to Interlaken , then up to Luzern, then got on the fast train to Lunago, then chnaged again for train to Como. In todays  train travel we went from the german part of Switzerland , to the italain part; we noticed because the signs in the town  were in italian and even the electric noticeboard on the train was in italian. Como is just over the border, and we came to stay here because we thought Milano would be a lot more expensive to stay at! It took about 6 hours with all the train changes, but was a very scenic trip: very mountainous; numerous lakes; lots of wineries; lovely villages.  As soon as we were going through the Italian part of Switzerland we noticed  a diminishing in the numbers of the ‘ gingerbread’ style houses!. When we were on the Lunago platform I took off my thermals  pants and wool socks, cause was feeling the heat, probably mid 20’s, where’s we’d been used to low teens.

We are staying in Hotel Como and it is quite nice. After dropping our bags at the hotel we went for a walk around the town and down to the lake where we had pizza and spaghetti with calamari and a bottle of wine! On the way home we went past a closing fresh fruit market and bought some peaches and apricots!

 

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