Italy 1999: Postcard 4 - Evening in Venice


After a couple of days off it was a bit hard to get up early and put on work clothes. I took my Vegemite down to have with brekky this morning - a must have on any long trip, along with the Walkman and a selection of music. (REM playing at the moment)

The training sessions were held in a small conference room at the hotel, which was very convenient. A walk across the carpark after brekky sure beats catching a taxi in city traffic. The presentation was in English, and there were people from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Germany also attending. I thought it was a bit rough on the Italians, in Italy, with an Italian presenter, but having to listen in English.

For lunch each day we walked to another hotel, just over the other side of the train station. Monday was beef ham, pasta, and cold roast beef. We finished early at 4:00PM.

Later on it was down to the pub for a Bacardi & Coke, where it was interesting to note that the only beer on tap was XXXX, Aussie XXXX. The locals seem to eat dinner pretty late, at 8:15 when I had finished, the first were only just ordering.


The training course continued at the hotel, we looked at programming today using a multitasking 'C' language on small C51 micro based hand held devices. Lunch was 4 courses at the same hotel again - meat, pasta, steak, and fruit.

In the evening I walked around the other side of the train line, thinking I would go to the same hotel for dinner. However along the way I found a Chinese restaurant and decided to give it a go instead. The decor was trying a bit too hard to be Chinese. It reminded me of the sort of Chinese restaurant you often find in country towns in Australia. Plastic placemat, knife and fork on the table and so on. Similarly they had chips on the menu, as well as spaghetti. I ordered spring rolls, sweet and sour pork and plain rice. It was not bad, the spring rolls were crunchy and fresh, and the pork was OK. Trying to speak to Chinese people in Italian was also a bit unusual for me. I finished with fried ice cream and wandered back to the hotel.


We finished early for the day, so I got changed and took the train to Venice, hoping to get some evening photos as the sun went down. To see a bit more of the place, I looked up the ferry map and took a number 41, which seemed to encircle Venice and return to the station. I didn't realise how big Venice was; there is more to it than the main tourist drag between the station and St Marco. There is a rail yard, bus depot and a large multi story carpark hidden from view behind the station. Further around there are residential areas, parks, a sports ground and a number of other islands.

Once back at the station I didn't walk too far, took some more photos from several bridges, and looked for a restaurant for dinner. I aimed for the restaurant on the canal in the last group of photos below. It was a bit away from the main drag and looked OK. But the waiters didn't seem interested in seating a single person, and after standing around for a bit I gave it a miss. I stopped at another restaurant that was not on the river, but had air conditioning and looked OK. They also did not seem enthralled with the idea of a single person. Once seated I noticed that all the customers were foreigners - not a good sign I thought. The tagliatelle bolognaise was a smallish dish and was just OK. I had missed the 9:40 train and as the next was 10:30, decided to have desert. However although it was on the menu, they had no ice cream - which I thought was also pretty poor for a restaurant. Instead I grabbed a gelato in the street and wandered back to the station. The 10:30 train left on time for the short trip back to Mogliano Veneto.

FRIDAY 4/6/99

I was picked up from the hotel and driven to the company factory for the day. Most people there have just moved offices, and were still setting up desks and so on. I did repair training with one of the technicians in the morning. They have their own canteen at the factory, and lunch was spaghetti bolognaise with potato. I commented to one of the guys that it was better than what I had in the restaurant in Venice last night - he was not surprised. He thought most of Venice was just for the tourists, although there is a university and some student eating-places about. It would be interesting to check that out next time I am there. After further repair training in the afternoon I was dropped back at the hotel.

I managed to pack everything back into my two bags for the trip to Bologna tomorrow, and read the days e-mail. Later on I walked up the street heading for the pub but found it closed - at 7PM on a Friday! Some things here I still haven't worked out. I walked around the town centre and stopped at the pizza shop I had been to earlier in the week. Tonight I only ordered the spaghetti carbonara. For desert I ordered 'fragole con gelato' and found that I had translated the menu correctly when I received strawberries and lemon gelato. The strawberries were slightly cooked and in a strawberry liquor, it was very good.


Click on the pictures for a larger image

1. Inside the 'Pub' up from the hotel
2. Outer area of Venice
3. One of the outer islands of Venice
4. Grand Canal in Evening
5, 6, 7. Just off the Grand Canal in Evening, three shots from the same bridge

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