Sunday, April 17, 2011

Venice Day Three

Probably our worst day in Venice today, and even that was pretty good! We decided to spend the day touring the Lagoon Islands, specifically Murano, Burano, and Torcello.

Murano started off the day on a not-so-great note. We went into a lot of shops, almost all of which were of course selling glass, which Murano is famous for. As soon as Adrienne and I would enter the shops, we would be followed by a shopkeeper. I understand that they wanted to make sure that we didn’t break anything, but there were signs everywhere telling us not to, and we didn’t even point at the pieces, let along pick them up. Nevertheless, in nearly every shop, we had a person literally a step or two behind us, and we noticed that it was always the two of us that were followed, never any of the older adults.

But while this was irritating, nothing topped us getting thrown out of a store. Toward the end of our time in Murano, we went into a building that doubled as a shop and a glass “show.” They had really good prices, and Adrienne was trying to decide between two pieces. The shopkeeper came up right behind us and asked if we wanted anything. “We’re just browsing right now,” Adrienne told him. We hadn’t been in the shop for five minutes, but he kept following us for about two more minutes and then he said, “Well, since this is boring for you, good-bye,” and pointed us out the door! At first, we didn’t really grasp what he said, but went to the door. It wasn’t until we were standing in the threshold and catching up with what had just happened that we realized that we had just been essentially thrown out. The man was so annoyed with us, for reasons unknown, that after dismissing us, he immediately went into another room and so never found out that we had been thinking of making a purchase. This left us pretty angry for awhile, especially since we were followed around in every other store we went into after that. I understand that we’re young, but nothing in our mannerisms suggested that we were going to break anything, we weren’t dressed like derelicts, and we were respectful to the people. But no matter what we did, we were watched so closely that someone could have robbed them blind and they never would have noticed.

We left Murano without any regret for doing so and headed for Burano, which was completely different. Besides the fact that the shopkeepers were all very friendly and when they did follow us around, it was in hopes of making a sale (which is still annoying and deterring, but at least it’s not insulting.) The big item in the shops here was lace, and it was all really cool to look at. The houses, too, were really picturesque, painted lots of bright colors. We noticed that over their doorways, in front of their house doors, 95% of the residences had long lengths of fabric that tied at the sides. I’m not sure what this was actually for, but I think it may be so they can open their doors in the summer without everyone seeing into their house. Europeans aren’t big on screens on doors or windows, as they think they’re unattractive.

Torcello was our last stop, and it was a tiny island with not too much to see. It seemed like it hadn’t opened for tourist season- all of the restaurants were very nice-looking, but closed, and the only thing that seemed to be operating was a church that was rundown but still in use. It was a nice place to walk around, though.

The sun was starting to set at this point, so we took two waterbuses back to the Venetian mainland for dinner. We’ve been planning since our first day to eat at one of the restaurants along a canal, since they have heating lamps in the outside dining area. We had delicious ravioli at the place we chose and then caught a bus back to the hotel, where we’re now putting off packing as long as we can. Tomorrow, we’re going to see the Jewish ghetto (which was on our list today, but we never got to it) and then wandering around Venice at bit more before heading the Treviso for our flight home at 10:30 pm.

Hopefully tonight we’ll be able to sleep undisturbed. For the last two nights, we shared the floor with two rooms of sorority girls and several more rooms full of high school kids. Both groups got ridiculously drunk at the pub down the road and were singing in the wee hours of the morning while the people in the room above us spent the night feng-suing their room, by the sounds of furniture scraping the length of the floor. The high school group had a chaperone, but she mostly just studied her hands as her charges caroused. Well done, chaperone. Both groups checked out this morning though, so we may actually have a quiet night.


Mrs. Flury said...

Dear Rachel, I am so enjoying living vicariously through your trip! Touch some really old architecture for me, and then touch my hand when you come back to Lancaster County!

All the beautiful artwork and buildings you are seeing seems like a far cry from our green and brown patchwork of spring fields.

Solution proposal: Murano shopkeepers should be the youth chaperones. ; D

I'm so glad you're still posting while you're touring.

Mrs. Flury

Anonymous said...

You should have asked if it was bobbin lace! they would have been impressed.

Rachel said...

Mrs. Flury, Venice and E-town are definitely very different. Venice is the kind of place that, even when you're there, you have to keep telling yourself it's real. I like your solution :p And I hope to continue posting even as I go to the English countryside and France later this week!

Mom- I think it must be, it's very intricate. Then again, I know nothing about lace :p

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