Welcome to Italy.

     This phrase became the bane of our existence while in Italy. While riding from Switzerland to Venice, Italy via TrainItalia, the announcements followed this typical pattern:

3 minutes (of the Italian language) worth of telling where we were, what we were doing, what stops we were arriving at… and any other important information.

2 minutes of similar dialogue in French.

1 (German) minute of a shortened version of the French explanations.

In Engligh: “Welcome to Italy.”

     Due to this, we were highly unsure of were to get off the train, and we further confused by the hour long stop we made in the middle of nowhere. That hour plus the fact that the train was late to begin with left us unable to catch the connection train to Venice. We went to the service desk and quickly learned that the Italian customer service ethic is similar to their timeliness ethic: nonexistent. Eventually we made it into Venice, to our hostel (which was, surprisingly, amazing)… and found out our train had been delayed due to a minor incident–the derailment of another in front of us. 

    Italy was not bad, though it was nothing what I had expected. The calm, coolness, and the laid back stereotypes only applied in reference to time, it seemed. I learned a lot about the culture and a lot about the art of being stared at. 

 

The hour long train stop by a small village in the Italian countryside.

The hour long train stop by a small village in the Italian countryside.

 

 

I think these "street signs" were only for effect. Truth: We spent 75 per cent of our time attempting to find our way around the city. It's no wonder people call it a magical city of mazes that change every nightfall.

I think these "street signs" were only for effect. Truth: We spent 75 per cent of our time attempting to find our way around the city. It's no wonder people call it a magical city of mazes that change every nightfall. (Also note the adorable, fat posing dog in the window.)

 

Mariah and I in Venice

 

Staring down one of the Venetian roadways.

Staring down one of the Venetian roadways.

 

A beautiful detail of the world famous Palazzo del San Marco.

A beautiful detail of the world famous Palazzo del San Marco.

 

You cannot escape Venice without trying on at least one creepy mask.

You cannot escape Venice without trying on at least one creepy mask.

 

A dusky view of the magical city built on water.

A dusky view of the magical city built on water.

 

Early Italian architecture. My favorite art history era.

Early Italian architecture. My favorite art history era.

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3 July 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Europe, Hiking/Backpacking, travel.

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