Italy, Travels

Venicia Via Soppresso

As we left the hotel, the lady warned Janet that we might not make it to Venice, because the trains might be on strike today. The train station was pretty dead, and we saw young folks outside, one group with a hammer and sickle poster, another group across the way with a Palestinian flag. Janet and I concluded that maybe it was pretty much just a holiday to get out and protest, and go on strike, and I concurred that a protest just wasn’t a protest these days without a Palestinian flag.

Since we weren’t sure what “so” meant on the big board, and we weren’t about to stand in the one, very long line that everyone else was standing in to get the skinny, and since there were so few people around, especially ones who seemed to know anything, we went ahead and bought tickets from the nice, naive, machine for the first train we could get to Venice: a Eurostar that was on the board, scheduled to leave soon, with an “so” annotation.

We subsequently learned that “so” was another way of saying “sopp” which is another way of saying “soppresso” which apparently means “cancelled” although other trains were actually “cancelled” or routed “via soppresso” which confused us when we saw that a train was leaving for Milano “via” another station that was on my map, so I was able to convince Janet that that “via” did not meant cancelled, via soppresso, soppresso, sopp, or so.

We had actually woken up early, but since our 9:30 Eurostar wasn’t meant to be, and the IC for Milan via Bologne wasn’t until 10:36, I got in line to change the tickets, while Janet went looking for breakfast. At about 10:30, I was very very near the ticket window, but since lines are never single-file in Italy, I wasn’t sure when I’d actually see the ticket guy. From what I could tell, we had an IC ticket clear to Venicia, which was valid to get us to Bologna, as a connecting point. The Eurostar fare was billed as an IC plus a supplement that was on a seperate ticket, that we could get refunded. Janet was inclined to stick with the line and have the guy make sure everything was cool, but at 10:34, with maybe one or two people still ahead of me, and other anxious folks wishing very much to squeeze in to see the guy, I made an executive decision to ditch the ticket line and get on the train, which we managed to do shortly before it started rolling for Milan.

At Bologne we found ourselves in a line with other luggage-toting folks, running through the underground walkway between platforms to catch the Venicia train in time. Since it was late Friday we decided that finding a hotel in Venezia would be either impossible or insanely expensive. We stopped short in Padova instead. We found ourselves in a one-star hotel that charged more than what it said on the room’s door, so on our way out the next morning, we collected a receipt, with the intention of subsequently contacting the hotel licensing authority in Padova. But first, we wanted to find a better hotel.

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Categories: Italy, Travels

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