Saturday, May 28, 2011

More of my reminisces about Venice

I was speaking recently with John (Delizie restaurant) about our booking for High Tea, and once again we started reminiscing about Venice and its beauty. 

Out of curiosity I went Google searching for the hotel we stayed in, and I believe it was the Albergo (Hotel) Bonvecchiati.
Hotel Bonvecchiati
Hotel BonvecchiatiWe were very spoiled by hotel staff. Our room was spacious for Chris, I and Maddie and the bathroom was unique. We just needed to get used to the plumbing! The shower had a curious quirk, and would sometimes run perfectly, and other times while having a shower the pressure would change and we would go from hot to cold to 'what the h*ll!' when we were showering - but the view from our shower window, (which was modestly placed ) was magnificent!   Somehow showering was the least of our issues!
One of the things that impressed me about Venice was not just the architecture, the beauty, the mystique and the atmosphere.  But  -- the people we met. 

Back at the hotel, on my first morning of having breakfast, as I struggled to carry my coffee back to my table, during the smorgasbord offering, a smiling waiter appeared with his tray, and broken English, and offered to carry my coffee for me.  I smiled, thanked him gratefully, and discovered a friend.  Each morning when we appeared for breakfast, he was there as if waiting for us.  He followed me, with his tray, and carried my hot drinks and juice, and once seated, made sure I was happy.  There are so many stories about him, and his wonderful way of showing kindness - all this without any tips, just genuine kindness. But I will get back to that.

The next person I had such a wonderful experience with was an optometrist.  I had broken the arm off my new set of glasses in Florence, and stuck with wearing my old glasses, we went looking for an optician or optometrist to assist me to repair my lenses.  We found her just off the main arena of the Piazza San Marco.  She looked at me, and listened to my story and then said she could help.  She asked us to come back in about 15 minutes, and literally closed her shop while she worked in her back room on my lenses frame.  (I was amazed that she would put so much effort into this task, which involved her complete attention, to the extent that she shut her doors, and locked any potential clients out!) When we returned, she had indeed repaired my glasses and frame, and was ready and open for business again.  I was so relieved, and was willing to pay any amount of money for her services.  She charged me very little money, and just smiled.  I offered to give her more, but she wouldn't take it.  What a blessing she was!

These people kept entering our lives.  It was incredible. But the memory that stands out the most, about these unique people was my 'waiter'.  No matter what we needed done, to having an umbrella repaired, to needing a drink or snack at odd times, to just finally preparing our departure, he was there.  Always smiling, and always helpful.

My last memory of our stay there, was getting into the water taxi at the hotel's 'dock', watching our luggage being lifted into the taxi, and looking back to see 'my waiter' who had walked us out to the dock, standing there waving a cheerful and sad goodbye.  What a sad feeling there was, as he waved and blew a kiss as I smiled and waved goodbye.  What a memory of grace and true gentleness these people gave to me!

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