Marco met us at the vaporetto (public water bus) pier in his wooden motor boat that is fashioned in the traditional Venetian style. We made our way through the canals and were quickly lost in the city’s unique beauty as well as its intricate maze.
Our room was just across the courtyard from Marco & Kelly’s place making it easy for us to harass them for directions, advice, etc. They were great hosts, touring us around the city, stopping in some of their local hangouts for a glass of Prosecco , eating at some of their favorite restaurants, and letting us crash Giovani’s 1st birthday party! They also served us a nice meal on our last night.
We found Venice to be a very charming city, but a bit busy with many cruise ships making a stop there. Apparently the Venetians don’t get a breather till November, and it starts to crank up again in December. We spent half a day exploring and getting ourselves lost in back alleys, browsing shops, and taking in a picnic alongside the Grand Canal.
After retrieving our car from the parking garage, the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree once again and the car started sputtering. We had enough and headed straight to the Europcar office at the Venice airport determined to force them to give us a new car. We pulled in the rental car lot and explained the situation to the attendant, who performed a very technical diagnostic – he sniffed the gas cap and then the exhaust pipe. He determined that indeed, we had not put diesel in it instead of super unleaded (we’re not that dumb) and that water must have gotten into the tank. He sent us to the airport counter and told us they would give us a new car. Really??? That easy?! Long story short, after arguing at the counter for 30 minutes, we ended up with a diesel Mercedes SUV-type car. Not really what we wanted – a big luxury car on small European roads, but we made it work!