The idea was to put in a heat run to build endurance. So, at 2
PM, as the thermometer crossed 90 degrees, I hit the trail for a 10K run. Was working up a good sweat when suddenly out of nowhere came these bunch of clouds followed by some sharp showers. All that was left was a thoroughly drenched iPhone and self and near 100 percent humidity!!!
A couple of hours more and we conclude our summer vacation in Italy and New York. The best decision we took was to stay at my friend’s resort in Varignana. The location was outstanding. The facilities were to die for. But the best part of the whole resort was the staff.
Incredibly friendly and helpful staff. We are going to miss Vito and his out of the world sense of humor and antics for a long time. Regardless of the work pressure, he always managed to make time for us at the restaurant and take customized requests. A sommelier par excellence, he regaled us with the stories of the different kinds of wines. It was very encouraging to hear about the story of his life that started in England and finally found him in Italy.
We will also miss the ever present smile of Anna from Romania who went out of her way every single time to make sure the kids and the adults were fully taken care of in the restaurant.
Then there was Sauhaib, Carmelia, Carlo and others.
Maybe it is in the culture of Italy but the front desk was another example of impeccable service. Sara, Irian and the rest took unbelievable care of us.
Not sure when we will be back in Bologna next. For sure, we will miss them till then…
This one was in Venice. I was waiting for friends and family to come back from their gondola ride when I struck up a conversation with this gentleman (Alessandro is his name). He is the manager of the hotel you see behind us. As I settled down for a glass of wine, I got to know the history of this gentleman. Born and brought up in Venice, he has fought his way into managing two different hotels in Venice. He explained how he found tourists from US to be the most polite in Venice (which, actually surprised me a little). He also said that US tourists tip better than any other tourists. (I suspect this is because US might be the only country where most service people are paid a small amount and depend on tips to make up the minimum wage or whatever wage they make???).
Alessandro was nice enough that after I paid for the wine, he arranged for free to and fro water taxi to Murano – on the house (for his hotel). All he wanted me to do his refer my friends to try out one of his two hotels in Venice some time.
So, here is to keeping a promise – if any one you ever visit Venice, let me know. I know the phone number of a really nice guy who can take care of your stay and arrange for free rides…