When we last left off, out stint in Italy’s most cosmopolitan vista was coming to a close. Midday the folks and I packed up our belongings and the staff at the amazing Park Hyatt Milan assisted us in getting a taxi to the Milano Centrale train station. The taxi ride cost about €12 and deposited us at the base of the station. From there, two men asked us if they could assist us with baggage. I normally hate that ish, but we did have a ton of stuff and this was a luxurious trip. What the hey, right. When we arrived at our train destination, I specifically asked the men what they considered an appropriate tip, and in usual fashion, they said whatever you feel like. They did wait around for the train and helped us load all the bags into the coach. When it came time to tip, my Dad handed the one man €10. He then proceeded to ask us for double that amount, considering the wait time (~5-7 minutes). Um, no. I gave him a few Euro coins and told him that was all we had. he grumbled and stalked off. Annoying, but not unexpected. I wish I didn’t carry so many hair products that I could just get away with a light carry-on. Oh well.
We settled into our first-class seats aboard a local Trentalia with it’s final destination at Venice St. Lucia. FC tickets were not significantly more expensive than business and that’s the approach we took for each of our train rides. Unfortunately, I did not actually visit the business or coach cars so I cannot comment on the comfort or amenities of either. If I had been traveling alone or with a friend, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a less expensive ticket. For this trip, however, I wanted my parents to ride in style. The ride was a comfortable 2 hours through the countryside and we were seated near a Canadian-American couple touring Europe. A drink and snack service passed by. Word to the wise, on some trains, only one drink may be ordered (complimentary) and the waitress was loath to give me a second (even though I only ordered water at first and was willing to pay for the second). Nonetheless, she gave me a glass of champagne after a bit of pouting (on her part, not mine).
We arrived into Venice after dark and quickly made our way to the public water taxi ticket booth. A one way ticket cost €7 and would deliver us to a dock where our hotel water shuttle would be waiting. At the time, this option represented a significant cost savings over the private hotel transfer or even a Venetian water taxi. In hindsight, however, with the amount of luggage that we had and the late hour, I think we would have been a lot happier booking one of these more direct routes. Let’s just say we waited for the hotel shuttle for 45 minutes in damp cold and that was after about the same amount of time spent meandering Venice’s choppy waters from the train station. I was not discouraged on our return, however, and am pleased to report that the route back was much more pleasant during daytime hours.
A few posts from now I promise to feature our hotel, the Hilton Molino Stucky and some of our meals, so no need to worry about that now. For now, I invite you to journey with me to one of Italy’s most beautiful and under-appreciated cities: Venice…
That’s right. This was a teaser post. Gotcha!
Stay tuned for the best of Venice through my eyes.