My first Italian holiday was not until 1994. Lido di Jesolo on the Adriatic, a holiday makers town if ever there was one. We were naive so it suited us well, interspersed with jaunts into Venice and Lake Garda. The holiday was not quite a disaster but as my husband and I went on holiday with a female friend of mine and a male friend of his, who were not a couple but decided to share a room to save money, things didn’t quite go to plan and I won’t elaborate as everyone involved is still alive!
I did like Italy and could’ve spent ages in Venice. On one occasion, I was standing on the Rialto bridge looking out over the grand canal and sighing at the beauty of it all. A little suited man approached me and started talking in italian to me. My italian was limited, but I understood that he was a writer and historian. He wanted to show my friend and I the oldest church in Venice which was not far away, so we casually followed him to the church and I was trying my best to keep up with what he was telling me. I figured that we’d been away a long time and should get back to meet the guys – who were running up and down the steps of the Rialto looking for us and we got an ear bashing for walking off with a stranger, anything could’ve happened etc. A valid point and one that I’d instill into my teenage daughter (I was 32!)

Another memorable day out was when our male friend and I decided to visit some of the islands together. We stopped off in Murano, had lunch (including the murder of a pigeon by a cat) and wandered around the glass shops as I was looking for THE glasses. We were in a little shop when the ‘gentleman’ took me through to the back of the shop to show me the antique glass. He asked me to remove my scrunchie and let my hair down. I duly obliged and he oohed and aahed over my Titian hair. He asked if he could drive to my hotel (?) and take me out. I explained that whilst that was a very kind gesture, my husband would object quite a bit, so let’s leave it there.
Meanwhile, at the front of the shop, my male friend was being questioned by a little man curled up on a little chair by the door
‘You her husband?’
‘No, friends, amico’
‘ hmm, if you her husband, I give you a big knife and you stab him’
We fled, laughing, with two rather nice glasses (which was all I could afford!)

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