Well the lads and lady returned from the winery quite the experts. You can imagine what the next meal was like ordering and tasting the wine. We strolled over to Signoria square which is like an amazing open air sculpture museum with David, The Rape of the Sabine women, Perseus holding Medusa’s head and a modern sculpture which blew us all away “Man riding Turtle”. the Medici Motto was ‘Hurry slowly’ and the turtle was one of their emblems. There was an unexpected free open air concert and the lady singing was marvelous, (not as good as me but in a different style).
The following day we took a tour of Cinque Terre. Five towns on cliff edges. Very beautiful and the roads are so steep and housed so tightly packed that cars cannot go there. It was a delight but very very hot. It was a big tour and I was getting a bit irritated with another group as they were always late. I thougth rather sanctimoniously there is always one! Until our last stop some of our group didnt get off! There were panicked texts asking where we were and where they were and we had to wait for them to return though I was impressed there were no complainers on the bus. We were fairly knackered after that as it was a 5 am start to that day. Of course before the evening ends ther is always gelatto (soft ice cream) tasting time. Its the only time Pat eats faster and more than me.
For our trip to Venice we had a lie in until 9.30 I was a bit tentative about this trip as the day before it had been so hot and I had heard about the smell of Venice. In fact I was delightfully surprised. I can’t describe the beauty of the place adequately. We had a sumptuous lunch. Interestingly enough Pat had talked the day before about how there seemed to be some female waitresses in Florence and that that hadn’t been the case the last time he went. In Venice it was all male waiters and they looked and acted like just out of a film. Superior yet respectively courteous with a dry sense of humor. One of the waiters we met learned his English in Cork (can you imagine?) It’s always good to ask other tourist for reommendations when you go anywhere and one girl we spoke to told us about this delightful place you could have a drink and watch the gondoliers come in and out. It was a real treat. One of the gondoliers sang as he went past, another parked beside and talked a bit about how it cost 5000 a year maintainence and how it was his pride and joy. Paula and I were in seventh heaven… Those tight tops and muscular arms. Pat went looking for a tee shirt but couldnt find one!
When we got back I was trying to find out where we could get rid of our rubbish. The man in the local shop couldn’t speak English and I realized he thought that I wanted to buy rubbish bags. So I asked the customer if he could speak English, he couldn’t but he introduced me to his girlfriend who could. I spent some time explaining my dilemma and she asked what I wanted her to do because she had no idea either. I asked her to translate and ask the shopkeeper because he would know. “Oh, no” she replied I can’t speak Italian I only speak Russian and English!