What Up Though, Rialto!?

We arrived at the train station in Venice around 5:30 that evening. The guys were due to arrive about 6 and the girls were already in Venice. The first thing we did was buy our train tickets from Venice to Almafi for the following day. We lucked out and got a 1600 (4PM) train to Naples, from there we’d travel to our Air BnB. Anyways, after getting our train tickets we walked to a little shop inside the station with homemade jewelry. Immediately, I fell in love with the glass beaded bracelets. I bought about ten because they were all so cute. We grabbed some coffee from the Relax Coffee Shop and waited on the guys. I forgot I had homework due that night so I quickly submitted it so I wouldn’t have to worry about being late. The guys were a couple of minutes late but when they arrived, you’d have thought we’d known each other for years. All of us hugging each other, extremely excited to see one another. After the hello’s were established, Tim and Charlie started looking for directions to our hostel. Dom, Tamara and I played around for a little bit until the guys said it was time to go. We walked outside and bought tickets to the public water boat service. The city of Venice is surrounded by water, there are no roads there so the only way to travel is by boat, train, or by foot. On the way to our exit, we passed the Lorenzo Quinn hands and the guys freaked. Apparently, that was something they’d been looking forward to for awhile. Dom got out his Uke on the boat and started playing it, Tim and Tamara were taking photos with their professional cameras and I was taking videos on Snapchat. Our exit was the Rialto exit by the Rialto bridge, close to the San Marco Square. We got off and lugged our luggage up the steps of the Rialto, which sucked by the way. My advice to anyone traveling to more than one city in Europe would be to invest in a backpack to carry everything, that way all your luggage is on your back when walking up and down steps. We walked through the city with our luggage until we found our hostel. We arrived at the hostel and checked in. It was, different. Coming from 5 Terre Backpackers in Cinque, it was about a two out of ten. They only took payments in cash, so Tamara had to go to the ATM and get cash out to pay for our one night stay. It was about 60€ for each person including the city tax. The guys were staying on the second floor and we were on the third. When we walked into our room, there were four little twin beds. Think basic training beds. Of course, the two beds taken weren’t next to each other so Tamara and I had to make due with not being able to sleep next to each other. One thing we didn’t care for was that there were no lockers to put our stuff in so before we left, we put all our valuables in my bag and put my lock on it. We got ready quickly for dinner, and then all five of us walked to meet Lindsey and Sam.

Tim was a fucking direction genius. Everywhere we went, he was a walking google maps for us since he’d been to Venice before. We waited in the San Marco Square for about ten minutes, all of us hangry and ready to eat. The church in the square is beautiful and they had a couple of orchestras playing. I’d honestly love to visit Venice during Christmas time but that’s besides the point. We found Lindsey and Sam, all of us acting as if we hadn’t seen each other the day before. We started walking to find a good restaurant that wasn’t crazy expensive. Charlie, Dom, and Lindsey walked ahead while the rest of us strolled behind. Finally, after about ten minutes of walking we found a restaurant. We ate at the Ombra del leone Ristorante and it was amazing. They had no tables that could sit us together so we sat at two separate tables but right next to each other. I sat at a table with Dom, Tim, and Charlie. We ordered a bottle of red wine for our table and Charlie ordered a beer for himself. Dom and I split a seafood platter with mussels and crab and a vegetarian pizza, my first pizza in Italy! The food was amazing. All the food in Italy is so well cooked and not processed, it all tastes so good. Towards the end of dinner, we bonded with the owner and our waiter. Somehow it came up that Dom played guitar so the owner brought out a guitar and dusted it off just so Dom could play for us! He played two songs on the guitar and we sang along then our server told us he enjoyed singing too. We told him he had to sing for us, he started drinking beer I’m sure to gain some confidence. He turned on some Italian music and the rest of us started clapping to the beat, Dom and I attempted to sing the song with him after looking the lyrics up but we failed. The waiter started giving us beer and wine for free, then they brought out limoncello shots. Limoncello is a liqueur, mainly drank after dinner by Italians that is about 33% alcohol and tastes like lemons. We took some photos with the owner and waiter, we all followed the waiter on Instagram before departing the restaurant. Honestly, we should have waited for him to get off because you could tell he wanted to keep hanging out with us. We walked back to the San Marco Square, passing the infamous “Twizzle” sailboat again and running away from two rats. Tim’s friend Lauren was in Venice as well so we met up with her before walking together to the college town district near the University.

It was a Wednesday night and most places were closed to be honest. On our way to the bars, we passed two British kids smoking a joint. They missed their flight and were stuck in Venice for the night so we invited them to hang with us. We got a little lost, so we bought beers from a local shop and drank them on the way. Once we got there, we kind of split up into two groups. Tim, Lauren and Charlie hung out with the British kids. Sam, Lindsey, Tamara, Dom, and I walked into one of the bars and ordered shots. We got lemon drops thinking it would be a light shot, like back in the states. No. This lemon drop will kill you if you have too many of them… Maybe that’s a little aggressive but let’s just say, the bartender kept pouring liquor into a tiny shot glass and then added lemon, brown sugar, and more liquor before lighting it on fire. It was just aggressive. The whole shot. We took our shots and immediately Sam shouted, “I NEED A TEQUILA SHOT!” Literally, you know a shot is aggressive when someone says they need tequila. While we were standing at the bar, we noticed a guy staring at us. He was pretty standoffish and a little socially awkward so we jumped to conclusions but then I looked at the group and said, “y’all what if he just doesn’t have friends?” So I walked up to him and found out he wasn’t hanging out with anyone so I invited him to hang with us. His name was Georgio and we found out he actually lived in Venice. We left the first bar and walked down an alley to a second bar. Dom and I stared at the shot menu for a couple of minutes because we wanted something a little less aggressive. We decided on the shot “Surfer on Acid” because it generally tastes like pineapple because of the Malibu and pineapple juice. Everyone liked that shot but I was done drinking after that. The thing about Italy and Europe in general, is they don’t just give water out for free like that so you’re more than likely going to get drunk very quickly. We walked to another bar we’d seen on the way in. I was adamant (please don’t ask me to say that word for real) about dancing and this first place had Spanish music which I love to dance to. We walked in and they I immediately got excited, they were playing Spanish music so we grabbed a table and started dancing until they closed. After they closed, we met back up with the rest of the group. Not too sure what happened because I was talking to Lindsey in the corner but we looked over and it looked as if Tim was about to fight someone but we figured our ratio of people was more so they could handle it.

We started our walk back to the hostel and the girls B&B shortly after. The walk home was so funny. Lindsey and I spotted a gondola in the water and ran to it, hopped in and took a few selfies. All of us wanted to ride in a gondola but we’d heard the price was 80€ so we never actually asked. We saw a store with a bunch of thick bars on it so we ran to them and started doing pull-ups and muscle ups before dropping Lindsey and Sam off. After we dropped them off, we were starving. There was a little pizza shop by the Rialto bridge, it was closed but I walked up to the gated door and asked if they were selling food still. They were! We got some pizza and the guys got some more beer. In the midst of this, some random Italian dude walked up and I drunkenly told him they were closed but then he ordered two beers for himself and his girlfriend. Oops. I didn’t know, I thought I was helping the people out because they weren’t supposed to sell food. After that little fiasco of grabbing our food and drinks, we kept making our way to the hostel. My feet were killing me! Everyone wants to make fun of my Jerusalem Cruisers (my Birkenstocks) but I didn’t wear them that night and my feet hurt from all the walking and wearing my flat sandals. Dom had to help me a few times because I literally could not walk it hurt so bad. When we got back to the hostel, Tim left to walk Lauren home but the rest of us walked upstairs. I got my laptop out and Dom started attempting to read the blog post about Cinque Terre, he turned my four page Microsoft Word document into a thirteen page, double-spaced document. While he read, I knocked out at the table. We decided to call it quits around 5 that morning, agreeing to meet about 9 for breakfast.

I had my alarm set for 9 but in reality woke up around 9:30. I walked downstairs to wake the boys up and we all got ready for the day. As we got ready, we could hear Dom playing his Uke below us and singing to the world. Basically every Italian girl fell in love with him, and then he got married….. JUST KIDDING. No marriage but we walked around the rest of the day while he played music. We were so hungry we got a pizza and some coffee before we went to breakfast. We found a nearby fish market, similar to a farmers market and bought figs, grapes, and pears. The fish market was located right next to the Lorenzo Quinn hands and once again, the guys freaked out. We took some photos and then walked to breakfast nearby. All of us got coffee, some got omelettes and croissants but I was still eating the fruit so I was pretty full. After breakfast, we walked back to the hostel so Charlie could grab his guitar before meeting the girls.

After meeting up with the girls again, we only had a few hours before we had to catch our train to Naples. We looked through the different shops and the four girls bought friendship bracelets. The cool thing about friends you make when traveling is they will be your friend for life. We stopped by the Rialto bridge again and Charlie and Dom started playing music. The rest of us pretended to be groupies and threw money in their case so the rest would follow. I think they made 9€ but I’m not completely sure. We made our way back to the hostel to grab our luggage and then ate at the pizza place across the street. Tamara got a mushroom pizza and I got spaghetti, all of us bought beer so we could toast one last time before we left. After we all walked to the water cab station so we could get back to the station. Unfortunately, two had to stay behind and while we started saying our goodbyes the boat started moving so Dom and Charlie stayed behind while the rest of us hopped on the boat. At the train station, we waited in front until our train platform popped up. It was pretty sad to say bye to our new friends, we’d honestly felt as if we’d known them our whole lives. Like I said earlier, friends you make while traveling will be friends for life if you have enough of a connection with them. I’m so happy we spontaneously changed our trip to Venice so we could spend more time with our awesome new friends. The whole trip has been so awesome and spontaneous so far and I love it. I can’t wait to tell y’all about our time at the Almafi Coast and please don’t forget to subscribe if you liked this post! Until my next post, inshalla.

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