Friday, September 5, 2008

Venice to Cortona, by boat,train and taxi

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Every where in Venice I found paintings,Venice 2008 2 091

and more paintings,

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and more paintings.

But it is time to make our way to the hill town of Cortona in Tuscany for the Watercolor Workshop I will be teaching there.  First, we caught the Vaporetto, (water bus) around 9:00am and rode all the way to the last stop on the Grand Canal, the railroad station.  Here are some typical Venetian scenes I photographed along the way.

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note the no boat parking sign in front of the fancy home...

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and the beverage distributor.

Reading the Italian train schedule with the help of our Rick Steve's travel book we found the right track, correct train, car number and seats, (no simple matter).

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Second class on the express train from Venice to Florence, our table even had plugs for charging computers or cel phones.

We only had a ten minute layover in Florence in which to catch our regional train to Comacia/Cortona, (or wait for the next one) but we made it!

When we arrived at the station in Comacia, there was no one around and no taxis.  Patrick had given me the number to call for a taxi as we were arriving a couple of days early for the workshop.  But how do we use this odd looking payphone....what coins, what buttons, do we push, what does all the Italian words say?  We finally found a nice lady that showed us what coins to use, and to push the button labeled "OK" after we dialed the number.  She then called a taxi for us, and now we have learned another travel skill, how to use an Italian pay phone.

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A view of part of Cortona

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End of the day overlooking the valley below from the top of our hotel in Cortona.

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