We hadn’t been out of the country for the entire month of February. Time to remedy that with a long weekend trip to Venice. The last time we were in Italy was 2009 for a 10-day spring break trip. We have been eager to return ever since.
Riding the trains in Italy is an exercise in releasing the tightly-would Swiss spring for on-time train travel that has taken up residence in my psyche. Leaving Zürich on time, we arrived in Milan Central about 5 minutes late, still leaving plenty of time to catch our connecting train (conveniently located one track over), cutting our layover from 30 to 25 minutes. Which then turned into a 40-minute layover, nonetheless.
Once aboard the all-Italy train (still an SBB – Swiss – train), the seats that we had so carefully reserved (106 and 107) were not next to each other, but one on window and the other an aisle seat one row up. We decided to choose two seats next to each other yet one more row forward which said that they were not reserved.
Leaving the Zürich HB, the train announcements came in German, then Italian, then English. Apparently, there is no need for French unless you are traveling past the Röstigraben. Once over the border, French is added back in as a 3rd of 4 languages. By the time the announcements get to English, we pretty much know what’s being said, but we double-check to make sure.
In good Italian fashion, the journey stretched the 2 ½ hours into a 3 ½ . That gave us plenty of time to listen to the Germans in front of us, one with a cello, converse about Facebook, Swiss German and music. The cellist gave his best accent of a French-speaking conductor discussing Brahms in English. And then the three gentlemen disembarked in Verona.
The spring unwound a little more as I listened to the lovely melodic Italian, spoken with much more emotion than what I’ve been used to for the past months. Oh, yes, and some laughter and smiles. We texted our AirBnB host to let him know we would be an hour late. I would hate to make someone wait that long. Later that night it did not make any difference that our train had been delayed.