A Birthday in Venice

Italy has been amazing so far. I really love living in Milan, a transportation center with planes, trains, and buses to just about everywhere in Europe. For my 21st birthday, I took the train to Venice to celebrate with friends. Venice is an amazing treat unto itself. The city really is built right on the water. It’s exactly like the pictures- only the pictures don’t convey the amazingness of it, nor the charm, nor the sheer incredibility. Imagine stepping straight from a boat right into a store. It’s amazing. And so bizarre. I felt like I was floating on water for days after.

Kathy1Venice is navigated by a series of vaporettos, or passenger ferries. You can walk from some islands to others, but not all of them can be walked that way. Instead, you have to take the ferry. Luckily, being under 26, we bought cards valid for transport for 72 hours.

Friday, we went to the Venice Film Festival. We got tickets to the premiere of “The Bad Lieutenant” because it was in English, and “The Prince of Tears”- which was in Mandarin but had English and Italian subtitles.  Then, because we had tickets, we went into the main building and celebrity stalked. We went to the press conference level and mingled with reporters while eating amazing cheese, and drinking wine. We eavesdropped on the press conference with Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes, and then for “The Prince of Tears”.

After, we wandered around Lido and waded in the Adriatic Sea, before heading back for the red carpet stuff. Pressed against the barrier, we were able to have front row views of the stars for the Bad Lieutenant. And to see Paris Hilton (though really, what was she doing there? Seriously, not appreciated at my film festival…). In real life, well, Nicholas Cage looked pretty haggard. Eva Mendes though was gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.  Sherrylyn, the girl I was with, got her autograph.

Then we watched our movies. I didn’t particularly care for the Bad Lieutenant. Too strange for my tastes, though seeing it at the Venice Film Festival was amazing. The Prince of Tears though, I loved it. It’s a very sad movie, but the colors were gorgeous. And the music was good.

Saturday we went swimming in the Adriatic, watched glass blowing on Murano Island, and just enjoyed being in Venice. We did ride a lot of boats.

Thursday, though, my birthday, was just about perfect. I arrived in Venice, met up with people, had a great Italian dinner with wine, and then we ate coffee-flavored gelato. Pretty awesome. Especially because at night the street lights are tinted pink. Pink! It’s amazing. And you can see this trail of buoys with pink lights on heading out to the horizon… endless. We listened to the street musicians playing violins and watched the gondolas float by, and really, just enjoyed it. It felt very decadent, my word for Venice.