03.08.2010 - 05.08.2010
We take off this morning for Italy and drive a long, long way. The rains have continued with gusto and our little Fiesta eventually becomes an ark that carries us across the border into Italy. Off in the distance, huge bolts of lightning are striking the top of the Dolomites and the thunder rocks our car. Scott appears to feel no fear as we cruise on what is now called the Autostrade at speeds of 160 kph. The monasteries and churches we pass cause me to briefly reconsider Catholicism and I wonder whether there is a safety saint upon whom I should be calling.
Scott has a friend who has arranged for us to stay in a bed and breakfast an hour outside of Venice. We arrive around 5:00 but spend an hour trying to figure out how to locate their home. Finally, after three unsuccessful requests for directions, I spot an intelligent looking fellow coming out of a municipal building. I show him the address and he points to his Audi and indicates that he will drive me there. Desperate, I slip in beside him and gesture for Scott to follow. He might be an ax murderer but at this point, we no longer care.
As it turns out, he is actually the mayor of this town and he tells me in a wonderful broken English about his community and the people with whom we’ll be staying. We travel down multiple winding roads and then he gestures to a small sign that indicates we’ve arrived. Dogs bark, and two sweet people who could be our parents come to greet us and let us into the gates of the home. “Problemo?” she asks. We nod wearily and she opens her arms and welcomes us. They speak just us much English and we speak Italian but Langston with his ten years of Spanish serves as an interpreter and we do very well communicating with one other.
After serving our entire family glasses of local Prosecco (which causes the eyes of both Analiese and Langston to water profusely), they send us back into town for dinner where we have our first pizza and our first chianti. We return that evening to sleep on linen sheets with the window open to the warm evening breezes. Our room looks over the region and we can see red tiled roofs, olive trees, vineyards, and a beautiful river that flows through the valley. Tomorrow we will take the train into Venice but for tonight, we sleep soundly and gratefully.