The morning after the event in Trieste, we went to the station (with Mathieu in tow). We met Umberto who took Irena back home; Alessio, Monika and I were catching a train for a weekend in Venice.
Despite arriving with plenty of time, problems with the self-service machines meant a wait at the ticket office, and then a run to catch our train. We only found out as we boarded that the train didn’t go to Pordenone, so we had to say goodbye to Mathieu.
A few hours later we arrived in Venezia (Mestre), had a small lunch – and used complimentary WiFi to get in touch with Angela (one of our friends from Vodnjan) who had convinced her parents to host us for the night. She came to collect us, and I was slightly confused when we had been in the car for 15-20 minutes because Alessio’s initial estimate was that it was a 10 minute walk to her place.
But, he admitted that was completely wrong.
At Angela’s we quickly got ready, and then were treated to Italian hospitality as her parents fed us well (homemade, local cheese; gnocchi with ragu), and we opened one of the bottles of wine we had bought at the discount store at the Italian-Slovenian border the day before – we were well prepared. I was also pleased, and a little amazed, that a 2.50€ bottle of wine was great (false expectations brought over from the UK).
When we were ready we set off, taking the other bottles (and bottle opener, well prepared) with us, for a late afternoon and evening in Venice proper. Being December we knew there was no chance of seeing it in daylight.
On arrival, we went on the first (but not longest) of the evening’s scenic tours to find the bar where her boyfriend, Michele, was with our friends Piotr and Francesca (a new, Italian EVS volunteer) from Vodnjan and Lea, Ane and Jana from Petrinja – we had planned this trip together and it had happily coincided with the weekend of the event in Trieste.
We stayed for a drink here, before setting off on a long, wintry expedition of Venice. This included a few trips down dead-end alleys, stops for photos and to admire the distinctly blurry Venetian sights, and gave us a chance to finish the last bottle of wine (at which point we really needed to find the next destination).
That destination turned out to be a pizza place, where Alessio decided the mantra ‘eating is cheating’ was applicable, and decided to have a nap instead.
Refueled for further walking, and headed to some more bars, where we met some of Angela’s friends, with whom I spoke l’Italiano perfetto.
When we had drunk enough, or too much in some cases – Alessio had decided to attack a bottle of gin, though he came off worst in that battle – we headed back to Angela’s. A couple of the Petrinja girls’ desire to go and listen to some Balkan music was not universally admired, and after a cup of tea everyone went off to bed.