Woke up to pack up. Roberta, of whom I have asked more questions than any other landlady before, and who has answered them quickly, completely and gracefully, was scheduled to meet us at the apartment at 11:00. So after we got our selves together we went downstairs to the supermarket and bought sandwich makings for the train ride at 12:30. This little Milan place really served us well. And the taxi stand is just across the little piazza, so close. Roberta and her charming husband came to say goodbye and we left to roll our bags across. BUT as soon as we got there I remembered the sandwiches and water in the refrigerator. So Ken left me there and ran back to the apartment, but he no longer had the keys! The only reason Roberta knew to let him in is because she’d been watching out the window to make sure we got a cab. All worked out fine, but Ken was in a major sweat. It gave me a chance to practice my Italian with a really nice guy cab driver. No traffic at all to Milano Centrale so we were still quite early. The station was typically busy with all kinds of people, some a bit scary. We found a bench upstairs because our binario hadn’t yet been posted. Yes, we sat with all the old people, us included, but we had some great conversations! Last one was with a little woman, shorter than me, dressed in a nice skirt and pearls. She looked like a traditional Italian woman, but she had a huge suitcase about half her height. I talked to her–like, where are you going where are you from stuff. Turns out she was headed to a small town near L’Aquila where some years ago there was a terrible earthquake. I told her that Ken and I had visited her beautiful city before the earthquake and she started to cry–she said it is still a disaster since the devastation in 2009. I, of course started crying too. She was going to visit her daughter who lives there still, but she had moved to Milan.
So, we got on the train and rode to Venice. I remembered the ramp on the left as you exit the train station and we jumped on the 4.2 vap to find Elisa waiting for us. With painstaking thoroughness she introduced us to this charming apartment with the million dollar view:
More on the apartment later but suffice it to say that this is no IKEA place.
We went to the very nearby COOP for some basics and came back to rest. Loved this mental (and real) picture of our view walking home from the shopping–we just seem to happen on the Gesuiti church:
We met our old friend Nan for dinner at nearby, Promessi Sposi. Nan looks great but she is unbelievable busy. Fabulous dinner! Nan and I shared tuna tartare and it had nutmeg in it! It was so delicious I couldn’t believe it. And Ken had traditional Spaghetti con Vongole. We also shared a Fritto Misto which had about 5 kinds of fish plus shrimp and calamari and veggies. Nan had a steak.
We got home close to midnight having had them kick us out of the restaurant–talking and talking so late.
Bottom line for me. Venice is one big exhale. And it feels like home.