April 6 2011
As I’m sitting in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, I am trying to figure out the timing and logistics of getting to Venice and getting checked in by the deadline tonight of 11:30. I have reservations at the Istituto Canossiano, one of the convent/monasteries that I have reserved.
I spoke in Italian and English to a wonderful Italian woman, and I asked her advice regarding taking the autobus or train to Milan’ s Centrale train station from Malpensa airport. During our conversation I learned we are arriving in Milan at rush hour, 5 pm, and the bus is best, although it takes an hour. Apparently the train goes to a different train station.
I already know that the latest train I can take from Milan to Venice is the 8 pm, or I will not make it in time. Once this travel day ends, and I am in Venice in my room, I will start to relax and really begin to enjoy Italy.
I know from previous experience that the travel day is always long and seems like a lot of work, but it will be so worth it! I already love listening to the sounds of the Italian language as I was waiting for my flight with native Italianos. I also truly enjoyed being able to understand much of what I was hearing, thanks to my wonderful Italian teacher, Lori.
5:30pm I made it in time to buy a train ticket on the direct train from the airport. Cost 7 Euros. The woman who told me that there were no direct trains found me at the baggage carousel and told me that I knew more than she did, pointing to a sign listing the time I had previously researched on my iPad. I guess I know more than I think.
Another Italian woman came up to me at the baggage carousel, inquiring if this was d’Amsterdam? (from Amsterdam). I understood and answered in Italian! I am loving this!
It is warm here…someone said 25 degrees, which is 77F. I am not tired yet, so that’ s a good thing.
7:05 pm I am on the train to Venice! I just made it! Expected arrival time is 9:40, then it’s a walk to the vaporetto station and buy a pass and take the vaporetto to the closest stop of my accommodations and then walk there and check in. By then, my guess is I will be tired.
At 11pm I arrived at Istituto Canossiano, a convent, which now is a guesthouse for tourists and also living quarters for students of the Canossiano Institute. Two wonderfully welcoming nuns and a young college-aged man were here to greet me, and I was so happy to see them after my 30 hours of travel, including 3 planes, 3 trains and a boat, not to mention the walking.
This place is so peaceful and quiet and has beautiful gardens and a courtyard. The directions I had from the vaporetto were perfetto and the ambience was lovely walking these side streets of Venice and stil seeing people strolling the streets, happy! I am going to get some sleep now.
Now I am in Venice enjoying the atmosphere and speaking Italian to everybody! Tutto bene!