Venice, Italy; Day 1

The 5 Adventures have made it to our last major stop in Italy – the beautiful city of Venice. But first, we had a fresh breakfast at our farm stay lodging (cold cuts and cheese, pastries, scrambled eggs with bacon – a mixture of European and American). After we packed up, we spent a couple of hours checking out the city of Bologna.

Bologna is a walkable city and our first destination was a park to see if we could find a playground. We happened upon the Friday market next to Parco della Montagnola. It started as a cattle market in the 1200’s but now is what can best be described as a giant weekly flea market. Hundreds of booths were selling clothes, shoes, accessories etc. We pretty much just walked through with CreeperPuppy in the lead. It was a bit more crowded than we prefer so we tucked our wallets more securely away from potential pickpockets and headed for the open spaces of the park.

CreeperPuppy’s head leading the way through the market

Our hopes for a cool playground were dashed but we found a very interesting fountain – more accurately the 4 statues surrounding the fountain were interesting. As a collection, they all are quite striking for the sense of violence they display. Two are of predators hunting prey and in one case fighting a snake for the kill. The others depict mermaid on mermaid fighting.

While they weren’t the most graphic statues we’ve seen, they are certainly the most graphic in public near a little kids playground. Nevertheless, CreeperKitty took a pic of us in front of the much less violent center of turtles.

Bologna is famous for its porticos – 24 miles worth in the city center. We passed under many of the famous spaces – started in the 11th century as residents tried to steal more space for their home and later required on buildings as part of the city’s aesthetic.

As it got time for lunch, the parents apparently lost their minds because the menu item of choice was gelato! Specifically bubble waffle cones filled with gelato. The kids had seen this confection in a previous town but hadn’t gotten to try it and, well, sometimes you have ice cream for lunch.

Afterward there was much sugar crashing and messy hands and faces, but they enjoyed it while it lasted.

Next stop Venice. We finished our 11 hour audiobook just before we got to the rental car return (The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan). We dropped the car at the airport on the mainland and caught the public water transport to the city. It’s been a while since we had taken a boat to our destination.

We had heard in Venice the roads are made from water and from the airport it was true – a defined path through the wooden pylons – so cool.

After docking, we met our host and walked the 10 minutes through the city with all of our gear. We’re in a residential neighborhood not too far from the major sights.

We did a little looking around, grabbed some dinner and went to bed excited to explore more of this city tomorrow.

A retreating gondolier

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