Sunday, August 16, 2009

Slips and tangles

For those who had seen my Facebook status, you already know I'm not enjoying myself at Venice. It's a bit of a major disappointment as it was the city I was most looking forward to in this trip to Italy. But it turns out to be one big tourist trap. Once you get over the fact that the city is built on water, it just turns into a city with tourists that outnumber locals and the locals do everything they can to squeeze every ounce of money they can get. Case in point:
1. The train conductor who reprimanded us for not filling in our Europass with our passports and date of travel and proceeded to demand a fifty euro fine from each of us! Luckily he let us go, but I saw two Asian ladies pay the same fine later.
2. We went to the island of Murano famous for their glass studios for a free tour. Our hotel had arranged a taxi take us there early in the morning. What the tour was though was a five minute glass blowing demo and thirty minutes of being led through their glass store trying to get you to buy something. Our tour book said, if you don't purchase something, most visitors have to find their own way back to Venice. I think we lucked out(again) when a taxi arrived for a couple people who did purchase some pieces.
3. A basic plate of Spaghetti with basil and tomatoes, a cost of four euros in Sicily, but in Venice ten euros! Sicilians are also the better cooks I've learned.
4. Umbrella and chair rentals at Lido beach: Fifteen euros! And I thought the three euro charge in Greece was expensive.
5. Water taxi ticket good for only twelve hours: Sixteen euros! Not to mention the rude ticket lady who barked at April for apparently not understanding what she meant when she asked for a euro when she obviously did after just handing the ticket lady the euro she had just asked for. (visitors tip: Italians HATE when you pay with paper bills)

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