Archive for the 'Italy' Category

When the helpful info point isn’t, you do too speak English, asshat.

The Wandering Nerd November 6th, 2007

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I’m gonna’ miss Venice. It was a beautiful city, a pain in the ass to navigate, and the site of some really good times with people I met traveling. I’ve connected with a few people here and and there, but the group we had in Venice is going to stand out as a highlight of the trip. That and late night kebabs, wine by the liter - okay, liters - and more pizza that you can possibly imagine. I seriously think we stopped at the best pizza joints in the city. I mean, just look at these things. I will admit that we found a place closer to the hostel that sold better tasting pizza though, and by the gram, so you could rock up in there and get a monster chunk of good pizza, not just some silly old slice. Buon apetitio!

One piece of advice, if you ever happen to be traveling through Italy. Skip Bologna, it sucks. Rudeness, confusion and sketchy kids are all over the place. Only pass through it on your was to a tiny little village outside of Bologna. They make cars there. Fast, sexxy, beautiful, lust worthy cars… I got to fulfill a childhood fantasy of mine today. And no, not the one where Blair from The Facts of Life gives me a sponge bath while Mrs. Garrett, crying, plays a low tune on the violin. How did you know about that anyway?

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Suffering through the rude nastiness of Bologna was worth it. I went to the Lamborghini museum! Now short of actually owning one, that’s the closest I’ve been allowed to get to these cars since the restraining order. If it were legal in Italy to have a civil union between a man and a car. I would have proposed, married, and consummated with this beauty right there on the floor. Look at her, she’s like a cross between the ideal Batmobile, Darth Vader’s commuter, and what Dick Cheney would drive if he were young, hip and had any sort of soul to speak of.

They have one of the first production model Countaches, on of the 25th Anniversary models from ‘88, that beautiful GTR, a few Murcialagos, engines, power speed, lines, hot, horsepower…*TWITCH* I’m alright, I’m good. That museum did things for me. I must get filthy rich now. I must have one…my precious… I want one to drive through the Alps back to Interlaken to jump out of a helicopter again.

In moderate seriousness - it’s about all you’ll get on here - I think why I really like Lamborghini has to do with the styling. Technologically they are awesome, granted, but I’m kinda’ getting tired waiting for our method of transportation to catch up with the Sci Fi of my youth. I had this same conversation with Claire at the Mercedes Museum. It’s coming up on 2010. I want to walk down a street and see cars that make me think I’m actually in the future I dreamt of in my youth. You know? Seen Back to the Future II? C’mon, I’m not asking for hover boards or anything - though they would be cool - but what exactly is the joy in making it to a future which is just a rehash of the past? I’m beginning to see a pattern, a nasty trend that I can’t help but think is only going to continue to get worse. Innovation and creativity is getting slowly phased out, no new concepts in movies, they keep remaking old ones. How many Rambos do we really need? Or who the hell let Paris Hilton make any attempt at music? It’s all mass market slop to be thrown into the gaping maw of a glassy eyed public hell bent on avoiding any conscious thoughts of their own. I’m beginning to see the correlation of my interest in modern art to my dismissal of the cattle mentality. We need to shake it up. Move it around. Get to that future we all promised ourselves.

The Lamborghini factory is located in a small little village, as I said. You’ll see in the pics the road that runs in front of the building. It’s a tiny little two lane affair with mud on both sides of it, running up to an intersection that a police officer shows up to at rush hour to manually control the lights. There in that little place is where some of the most advanced pieces of human achievement are being crafted. Maybe that’s the secret. Maybe that’s where the future is, humming along quietly in little pockets hidden in plain view from the rest of the world. Visible only to those who seek.

Or they could just be making hot cars for me to lust over.


we had a time, we had a time
we had a time, oh what a time
there was a time, there was a time
-harry nilsson

Serendipity, the biggest pair you’ve ever seen, and pigeons…lots of pigeons.

The Wandering Nerd November 4th, 2007

I’m glad I made it out of Interlaken, for a number of reasons. It had become dangerous for me to stay longer. It involves Jagermeister. Let’s move on.

I came to Venice completely sans a plan. No idea where I was going to stay, no real knowledge of the city. Not a thing. Turns out this is a holiday weekend and more tourists are here than have ever been here. Huh huh!

Despite being periodically burned by it, I followed the Lonely Planet to a hostel hoping to find a room. One thing I’ve found odd about Italy is that set business hours are more of a guideline really. The hostel only opens from 5-8 for checking in. Luckily I met three Aussies, see, thick on the ground here. Even more luckily they are great people. Unluckily for all 4 of us, the hostel was completely booked up, as was the backup hotel they suggested. We called around and found 4 beds at a place run by nuns. That’s right, nuns. It has turned out to be one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. We had another American join us for a five set - a very important number. All good peeps, and all a lot of fun. We’ve been kicking around for a few days.

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From what I can ascertain there isn’t any specific place that draws people to Venice. It’s more just the city itself. I’d been told specifically that I must go to Venice. As I’m easily influenced, here I am, and indeed happy to have made the journey. It’s a lovely city and easily the most difficult place to navigate that I have been in. Josh would be found floating in a canal somewhere around here. Once again I became the de facto navigator. Just try to get from one place to another on something that looks like this:

It’s not so much navigation as it is a tribute to Pac-Man. So far - fingers crossed - I haven’t had any major mistakes. The mitigating factor, if you get lost it just means you’ll find something interesting. The whole town is full of shops, cafe’s and little bars. Gelato, wine, pasta, and not one single car. Not a one. The ambulances here are boats, so are the taxis, and the ’subway/bus’ system. Really though you can walk anywhere and everywhere. It just takes a time, ‘as the crow flies’ has no meaning here.

From what I’ve had the food here is way overpriced and simply gouges the tourists. I’m back on the kebab diet, though they actually put vegetables in them here. Some of the pizza is pretty good - I must admit a nagging desire for a Papa John’s Works though. That and a grilled stuffed burrito from the Bell.

As a corollary to Germany, here wine is quite literally cheaper than water. We found a shop that you can bring your own bottles into and they’ll fill them up with whatever you want. Cabs, Merlots, Pinots, even the local stuff. Tonight I bought 5 liters of wine for a tenners, and it’s good wine - he says as he takes a nip from the Pinot Grigio - not like Franzia, Mad Dog or Boone’s Farm - BOOOOOOONE’S!!! Ah, that brings back memories from college…not necessarily good ones, but memories none the less.

Enjoy your photos you voyeurs, Venice is gorgeous:


thought I could fake this thing alright
thought it could somehow get me by
-finger eleven

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