Venice (et al)
(and Milan and Rome)
I visited Vienna twice, once as a serviceman and as once year later, as a civilian.
As a serviceman I stayed over at the Punto de Jesolo, just over the bay from Venice and a huge complex for camping. The British pound was at such a low ebb it wasn't much of a visit at all –I was in my car from Germany - I ended up leaving it all behind and going up to Austria – where I heard the news about the Olympic Village Israeli hostage situation which took me to Munich.
The second visitwas much more interesting. It was a trip around Italy on a job with a detective agency. We worked with the local outfit, which provided all the necessary help, chauffeur and bodyguard. It was this latter visit that will be more interesting for the visitor today.
I arrived in Milan airport, which was a jolly nice place, unlike Heathrow where I had taken off, everyone was being excited to meet people and sad to see them go – visibly and audibly.
I was met by the local man and taken to meet everyone. Once I was found to be reliable and not at all crazy like some English folk, I was allowed to get on with what I was doing with the primary client, Omnitel.
The work required a risk analysis based in Milan, Venice and Rome so I ended up visiting all three, but the majority of the work was in Venice.
Venice is a beautiful location. I was based in a small but very swish hotel on the main canal where I stayed for a couple of days. Although I was working I managed to see most of the primary tourist sites and loved it. I always had a local person, either from the agency or the client – but I have to admit the agency played the part in getting me acquainted with the local area and things to see. There was no fussing about with places to eat and menues. Taken to their favourite restaurants, I ate like a pig, but nothing like the last night when we visited a restaurant-ship. There we had a beautiful set of dishes and I finished them, very full and feeling wonderful. Then I discovered that it was the main starter – there were several other dishes to go. Eating Italian is the very best of a wonderful country, and the people are very friendly, or was it all just competitive – I think looking back on it, it was a mixture of the two.
The visit to Rome was terrific. I visited the Vatican on my own and picked a day where there was not a Papal address or anything, and so I was able to meander about quite easily. A beautiful place and somewhere I would like to go back to. I was met by the folk from the agent’s Rome office on the second day and taken off to have lunch at a restaurant by the sea. Again, a terrific meal as well as a good chat about what I had found while I worked.
The whole trip was a gift and one that I will never forget. The combination of Milan, for the company headquarters and a solid city, and Venice and Rome made Italy a tremendous place to visit.
There is but one word of advice – add in the price of a car-hire for the trip to Rome. There is so much see, and I did not get to visit half of it.