Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIFI Woes


You know what Venice could really use?

This is a question I began asking when we first arrived in Italy, with regard to each place we have stayed. There have been varying answers over the last week and a half. In Sorrento, I quickly observed that there was a desperate need for an interstate, or at the very least a two-lane road! In Rome, there was a significant deficiency of asphalt. In Bologna, there was a total absence of public restrooms. (and, while we are on the restroom subject: you know what all of Italy could really use? Decent toilet paper.)

I have been muttering this question, (which is really just a cover for some good old fashioned complaining) to my husband since we arrived in Venice two days ago.

And the answer is…

Working WIFI!

Seriously. Though our lovely hotel claimed to have wifi access, and we were even granted the log-in codes to use it…it never worked. Not once while we stayed there.

My irritation with this problem knows no bounds, and is outdone only by the fact that the train we are now sitting on (and will remain sitting on for the next 4 hours as we journey into Switzerland) also doesn’t have WIFI.

What. The. Heck.

How am I supposed to Facetime with my kids?

Or text my friends?

Or post pictures on Instagram to make everyone jealous?

Or blog about all the things Italy could really use?

Or text my friends?!?!?!?!?!

My husband thinks this whole crisis is comical. Which he has the luxury of thinking, because he has a company cell phone with international WIFI of its own.

I’m snarling at him from behind the screen of my laptop.

He doesn’t notice because he is busy surfing the web.

So, in an effort to stop thinking about the fact that I cannot reach out and touch my world, I will instead dwell on the WIFI lacking gem we have just left.

Venice.

Sigh…

Totally different from Rome, and, I have decided, equally magnificent.

The hotel where we stayed was once the summer palace of someone rich, as most of the hotels in Venice are. Our taxi drove us right up to the entrance. And before you yawn and say “so what? Don’t all taxi do that?” let me add another detail.

It was a water taxi.

In fact, the only vehicles we saw while we were in Venice were floating ones.

It is a city unlike any other in the world.

Speedboats and gondolas share the same water.

Crumbling buildings are connected to grand palatial estates.

There are churches on every single canal.

There are shops and restaurants and gelato cafes everywhere you turn.

Venice is famous for a few things; canals and the gondolas that maneuver them, obviously, but also for glass making and for hand-sewn lace.

We took a tour of a glass making facility. It was fantastic to witness the ‘masters’ at work. And they ARE masters. It takes 25 years working in the glass blowing trade to become a glass master. They earn their title.

And we walked through at least 50 shops where little old ladies with gnarled hands and thick glasses were sewing in a corner, making lace scarves, or dresses, or earrings, or tablecloths.

I was charmed.

I wanted to buy everything I touched.  (If Heath weren’t blissfully lost in the wonders of WIFI, he would give me a skeptical glance that reads, “I’m pretty sure you DID buy everything you touched.”)

Yes, I bought hand made glass, and hand-sewn lace, and I also bought an Italian leather handbag, because I NEEDED a safe way to transport my glass and lace…

I am in love with Venice.

It’s a different love than my love for Rome, which is filled with ancient history and a deep-seated love for preserving and remembering it.

Venice is all about art. And beauty. And decadence. And love.

And also, a supreme need for some good old-fashioned American WIFI!!! 

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