It’s important to note that I write this heavily sleep deprived thanks to Ryanair’s inconvenient flight times. The three-hour trip I had to make to make it for my flight this morning didn’t help either. Apologies if this makes no sense, I’m currently trying to keep myself from just collapsing on the couch. If there are numerous mistakes, at least I (and Grammarly) tried.
Anyhow, I’ve never written about a trip I’ve made before but this weekend has merited itself a blog post at the very least. It was the first time I had travelled unaccompanied and being the big baby I am, disaster loomed at almost every corner. Still, I made it to Treviso Airport at 11:45 Italian time. Seeing as Ryanair doesn’t fly to Venice because they’re Ryanair, I had to get to the Treviso Train Station and go from there. Just hop on a bus for 15 minutes to get a train to Venice. Easy, right? It would be, if the Venetian Rail Authorities didn’t have to have their yearly strike, THE ONE DAY I DECIDE TO GO TO VENICE. It wasn’t just me that was left devastated by the untimely news, the rest of the station seemed fairly pissed off by the whole situation.
I walked around Treviso for over an hour, seething at how my quality Venice time was being wasted. I finally found a large bus station and asked the people there if there was a way to get to Venice by bus. Seeing as it was only a forty-minute drive to one of the most popular tourist destination in the world, you would expect there to be a bus. THERE WASN’T, EVER (or the locals were just fucking with me). Nevertheless, I and my new thirty-something-year-old friend from Bulgaria were determined to find our way to Venice! (He was going to Verona but just wanted to help me, nice guy so he was. Italians, on the other hand, often responded to my question in Italian, which was a great help). After two hours of trying, I decided to return to the airport and see if there was a bus from there. Thanks be to private bus companies, THERE WAS. Still, I had to wait another hour for it to leave and I didn’t get to Venice till 16:00 but goddammit at this point I’d take it. Anything to get out of Treviso. Anything. I had even contemplated at €80 taxi at one stage I was so desperate, so one must always look on the bright side!
In Venice, I met my host and old friend, Marialuce Giorgini, who caught me by surprise coming down an elevator. It was a very stressful morning for the both of us as Maria had been there since 12:00 and it was starting to look like I’d never get to Venice by the end of the day. It was one of the biggest reliefs of my life to see Maria and end the five-hour-long anxiety attack. At long last, we were in Venice.
For years, I had dreamed of going to Venice I now had finally made it. I could finally relate to the book I’d written about it and even saw a character’s instrument mentioned in it. The only drawback from my idealistic view was just how expensive it was. I pictured myself getting on a gondola for the craic, but at €80 a pop, no thank you. The city itself, however, was incredible and somewhat surreal at night. Not being able to swim, I always had to be careful not to fall into the canals and die as that wouldn’t be pleasant. The highlight of Venice was seeing the world-famous library “Acqua Alta” which is often flooded with a foot of water and can be seen in the picture at the top.
According to Maria, who had been three times before, it was also empty. Yet, despite the lack of people I still managed to MEET PAUL RUDD. I walked past him at first and only noticed when he had passed me that it was him due to the deceptive beard he was wearing. We then stealthy walked behind him and his family in a by no means stalkerish manner until I plucked up the courage to ask him for a pic. Here is a short dialogue of the encounter.
“Hey, are you Paul Rudd?”
“Yeah, I am”
“Would I be able to get a picture with you? I’m a huge fan.”
“Sorry I don’t do that kind of thing when I’m with my family”
“Ah no problem”
He starts to walk away. He turns around and laughs as I call to him, “Hey, you stay classy Paul Rudd.” I spend the next two hours giggling like a little girl after seeing one of my favourite actors, even if I have no photographic proof (at least I’ve Marialuce’s eyewitness account). We then met up with Maria’s friend who lived there called Gulia and went for a lovely dinner before getting the last train back to her apartment in Trieste. Gulia offered that we spend the night in hers to see more of Venice the next day but it would be heavily flooded in the morning so it didn’t sound too appealing. Before we left, I did manage to get a couple of pictures.
At 00:30 we got back to Trieste and had to walk for half an hour back to her apartment in the suburbs. This doesn’t sound bad until you realise Trieste is the San Fran of Italy and getting back was literally like climbing a concrete mountain. With no sleep in 23 hours, this proved a challenge. As if my bad luck hadn’t run out, it took another hour to get Maria’s fold-out couch bed to fold out into a bed. I almost broke it in my desperation but eventually, we got it out, only to see the instructions on the front the next morning. At last, I could sleep.
We spent the next day in Trieste and saw a castle and had a deep-fried pizza which was interesting for a fast-food enthusiast like myself. We also did a full walking tour of the city. Trieste is clean, wide, and full of old people and fashionable students. Here are the general pictures I took of the town.
For the second day in a row, we walked over 20km. Later that night we met up with some of her friends from university, lovely bunch so they are. We went to a place called “shit bar” as it was renowned for being so cheap, something right up my alley! A glass of prosecco cost €1.30 and we got free pizza and crisps all night. It saddens me that such a place does not exist on these shores.
The next day was my final full day in Trieste and we saw ANOTHER CASTLE! Here are the snaps I got of it.
Trieste loves their castles almost as much as they love their ice-cream! Something we got shortly after. At no exaggeration, best ice-cream I’ve ever had and at €1.10 for two scoops, a steal! The place which was famous in the city was also closing for the winter so it was jammers, 100% worth the wait. Got back and had proper Italian pizza for the first time in my life, it was something else and now I have an unquenchable thirst for it. We finally went to a Jazz Bar where Maria and her friends go every Sunday night to see different acts for free whilst getting cheap drink in a super-cool setting. First time going to see Jazz and it was incredible to see how into it the artists got. It was effectively Trieste’s highbrow equivalent to the Roisin Dubh.
After four hours sleep, I woke up and embarked on my long and tiresome trip back to Treviso with only €1.50 to my name by the end of it. Despite the public transport constantly failing me, I would highly recommend Italy for all the reasons I have already mentioned. Now enough reminiscing for one night, I desperately need my bed and the services it provides. As the Italians would say; BUONA NOTTE!
P.S. Special shoutout to Marialuce for putting up with me for the weekend and letting me eat her entire stash of bananas.