On the outside, Venice is an ancient palace floating atop the sparkling Adriatic. On the inside, its a series of islands filled with narrow cobblestone streets, separated by canals and linked by bridges. In the boutiques you see European men buying designer apparel, shoes & bags for their significant other. At the restaurants it's candlelit dinners with shared bottles of champagne, red wine & authentic dishes. In the canals the couples barely notice that their boat is about to collide with another because they're too busy gazing into eachother's eyes, listening to an accordian player on a nearby gondola.
I arrived in the city of romance completely alone with a backpack over my shoulders, a suitcase in one hand and a cheese pizza (folded in half) in my other hand. I spent precisley 1 hour cursing the city & it's medeival blueprints. At one point I even stopped by a church to ask the 'big man' if this was karma for keeping an ant farm as a child. As far as I was concerned, the streets of Venice were a human ant farm.
I was close to giving up hope when I found my adorable Bed & Breakfast in an unmarked alley. The sweet Italian woman, Rinsa, who runs the show at the B&B asked me the only question you shouldn't ask a solo girl in a romantic place - "Buta Where is youra boyafrienda?" (It's equal to asking a girl who's ordering chinese takeout on Valentine's Day what her plans are.) I told her it was just me, but she continuouly nudges me and asks, "soa due cappuccino in the morning thena?" She starts laughing before she even finishes her half English, half Italian questions. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if she started lining up eligable bachelors at my door.
I thought I'd head out to explore the city alone, but as fate would have it the stork dropped 2 Finnish girls off at my door who had no place to stay. I invited them to join me and the 3 of us skipped off to the Grand Canal for fruit & a cookie. We were soon joined by a Canadian guy who was so pleased to hear us speaking English. That's what is so great about Europe, the land of backpackers. You're never alone for long.
I spent the better part of my day with my new friends before trying to navigate my way back to Ca Dei Fuseri. I walked into an alley that looked similar to mine, but to my surprise it was an adorable little courtyard in front of a quaint yellow hotel. Before I could open my mouth to chat with the Golden Retriever who was relaxing in the sun, a handsome Italian man approached me from a side door and asked if he could help. This is the point when you're supposed to play it totally cool and say you're just exploring the streets. I didn't even come close to playing it cool & immediately yelled, "I'm lost!" I shuffled through papers in my bag like a frantic basketcase and as soon as I was pointed in the right direction I was back on the street to avoid any further embarassment.
Why couldn't I just be like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday?
The air changes drastically from day to night in Venice, so I changed out of my dress and into some jeans before I went back out to window shop.
I was stopped dead in my tracks the moment I turned the corner from my little alley to the main road when I saw my hotel friend standing in front of me with his dog. Andrea confessed that he was going to ring on my doorbell and ask for the girl in the green dress. "Look, I even brought the dog!" I smiled from ear-to-ear, not because something romantic happened to me in the city of romance, but because I could tell Rinsa! Maybe I could even ask Andrea to do brunch so that my landlord would know I'm not a lost cause? I know you're reading this Andrea, what do you think?