13 February 2007

Com' è bello!

I'm currently in Venezia, Italia, a.k.a. Venice, Italy. I'm also on the clock in an internet cafe, so this is will be short and sweet.

To the point, Venice dispoints me slightly. I think people have built up too much hype about it. From a distance the cityscape is beautiful, but up close all of the small faults add up. She may be the Queen of the Seas, but she past her prime in my opinion. It reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans, obviously breathtaking at one point in it's history and now a faded image of what once was. For another thing, I discovered there's not too much to actually do here. I shorted my hostel reservation from four to three nights because of this.

However, in spite of all of this the city is still worth a visit. The atmosphere is incredibly unique and mesmerizing. To top if off, it's Carneval season right now, the party time before Lent begins. The streets are full of people decked out in rich costumes and masks. At some points I feel as if Casanova himself may be concealed under one such mask. I took in Saint Mark's Square and Basilica, which houses his tomb. It was powerful to see the tomb and realize what one would find inside. I rode a gondola, but the cheap kind that only acts like a ferry across the Grand Canal. That cost 50 cents, the alternative of the tour version would cost around $90. I visited some other islands off of Venice: Burano (Venetian glass), Murano (Venetian lace), and Torcello (abandoned centuries ago due to malaria).

Italy easily keeps me entertained and happy. I like the fact that when I walk leave a store I can say ciao, and it's not spoken in fun. It simply sounds cooler than hello or good-bye. Italy is of course the center of fashion, and the Italians prove it without hesitation. No simple t-shirt and sneaker wearing twenty-somethings around Venice. Apparently the latest fade is wearing black jackets with a patch on the shoulder that says "Arctic Exploration Museum" and with a little picture of Alaska. I also like the Italian language because the prounciations are so fun. I'm picking up simple words and phrases as I go along. It helps that Italian and Spanish are similar, and that I finished a semester of studying the latter only five days ago.

I head to Rome tomorrow via a short stop in Pisa. As long as I see an Italian driving a scooter while wearing sunglasses I should have a good time. If he happens to say ciao to his friend before sputtering off down the street, it will be all the better.


B said...

nick, i'm going to see a sneak preview of your movie tonight!
thought i'd let you know. i'll be taking notes on it to determine if its worthwhile to become your agent.

B said...

hours later...

Your Jeep is famous!
However, I did not see you.
There was this one point where it might have been you, but was too blurry to tell for sure.
I thought it was a pretty good movie though.

Anonymous said...

Nick, I am abit disappointed too - Italy is one of the places I really would like to visit. I hope you find Roma more intriguing. When do you plan to hit Sweden? I really am getting in the car purchasing mode and have my eye on a Brilliant Blue Volvo V50 in Gothenberg Sweden. I am thinking about being there around March 20th - Dad, took me to Seattle in 2004 and this could be our followup Anniversary trip! Is there a way you could meet us? That would be fun. We would probably only be there for 3-4 days. Thoughts? mom

Nick O. said...

B: As long as the Jeep becomes a celebrity I can bask in his fame. Maybe that blury guy was me, it'd be cool. I guess I have to wait for six months or so to find out for myself. Thanks for the news.

Mom: I should be in Sweden towards the end of March. So it's possible that we could meet. I'll keep you updated as that time comes closer, of course.