By the time we left the apartment for our last dinner in Venice, I had showered and changed, no longer the drowned woman that appeared at the apartment door a few hours before. The rain had stopped. It was getting dark out. The streets were still busy with tourists and the warm yellow light spilling out of still-opened shops marked the coblestone streets ahead of us. Again, we had vague directions on the location of the restaurant that had been suggested to us, but we could already tell by the volume of tourists that we passed that it would not be as private as the charming restaurant from the night before.
We enjoyed the leisurely stroll down streets lit by lamplight, and occasionally lingered at the storefront of a shop that catered to those much wealthier than me. We retraced our steps a few times, but eventually found the old wood front door that led into a narrow, wood paneled bar area that led to a handsome maitre d' dressed in a sharp black suit and tie, the opposite of the apron clad gentlemen from the night before.
Even though it had begun to drizzle again, we opted to sit at a beautifully appointed table under the side canopy that abutted the square. My memory of that dinner is more of the fun and conversation than of the food. As we lingered over wine I looked across the square and discovered someone was projecting a movie onto the side of a four story building, the images towering over the square. I could vaguely hear the dialogue but it didn't matter. The image of the square, the movie, the people walking by, the hint of fog under the lamplights will remain forever in my memory. I do remember the bill being a bit shocking, but in the end, it was my last night in Venice, and worth every euro.
Wandering in the general direction of the apartment, we lingered a bit on the streets of Venice, but I was weary from my wet afternoon adventures, and knowing we had to be on the dock at 7 a.m. the following morning forced me to give in, return to my room, pack my luggage and climb into bed. My travel companions advised me to turn on the air conditioner in the room as it would drown out the street noise. I followed their advice and slept well, although when I saw the photos taken of me the next morning as we waited for the water taxi, I can't say I looked very well rested. If you're wondering who carried my 40 lb piece of luggage down from the third floor that morning, it was a very gracious and strong gentleman, a fellow traveler.
At precisely 7 a.m. we climbed into our water taxi and made one last trip down the Canal. Almost as though it was a consolation gift for the regret I was feeling having to leave beautiful Venice so soon, a golden morning sun appeared from behind the buildings and its reflection on the water followed us until we reached the dock where we disembarked and headed to the train station.
As we waited for our train, the imagines of Venice were gone from sight, hidden on the other side of the station. I consoled myself with the thought that the train would take us to Florence, where we would connect with our ride that would take us to our rental cars that would take us to our villa in Tuscany.
To be continued ...
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