My three flights were fine. I am very grateful that the seats on the flight from Newark to Venice were a little more spacious. Once we landed, I quickly moved through passport security and did not have to wait very long at all for my luggage to appear at the luggage carousel.
At first I could only find the Venezia Mestre ATVO ticket machines, but then I found the ATVO counter and spoke to a very kind woman who recommended I buy the round trip ticket instead of just a ticket to Piazzale Roma. I asked her the benefit of buying a round-trip ticket. She told me I would save one euro for a coffee! Bonus – it will also save me time the morning that I fly home. She also gave me good directions to find the bus. The bus was just about ready to leave when I arrived. I put my luggage underneath and got on one of the last seats on the bus. It took only 20 minutes to reach beautiful Venezia.
It was a short walk to the train station, although over a big bridge with many steps. I purchased my train ticket at one of the automatic ticket machines and then went to have my first caffè macchiato. Only one euro! The coffee at the train station was 10 times better than any coffee you will get at a Starbucks. It amazes me every time I am here!
View from the train station…
The train took about two hours to reach Udine. When I arrived, I found the taxis right outside the train station. My taxi driver was very nice, providing me with some tips about Udine.
I checked into my hotel, unpacked my luggage and headed to the Vodafone store. I was very fortunate to find someone who spoke English as my transaction was extremely complicated. After dozens of questions and two trips, I have finally sorted out my Sim card issues and now have an Italian phone number with a data plan for my phone. In between my two visits, I also visited the tourist information center to get some maps and other information. The two ladies there were extremely nice. I also bought the FVG tourist card, which provides free entrance to many museums in the area, free bus rides in Udine, a free train ride to/from Cividale del Friuli, as well as many other benefits. I purchased the 1 week FVG card, which cost 29 euros.
Jet leg was really setting in and it was just about dinner time. I wandered a bit looking for something simple for dinner. I ended up eating at Ristorante Pizzeria Al Gelso. This restaurant was not too far from my hotel. I ordered a delicious seafood salad, and was pretty much a zombie at this point. The waitress was a little concerned thinking that I didn’t like the food. I explained to her that I had been traveling for 24 hours and I was just very tired. She offered to put the rest of my salad in a to go box. I took her up on the offer, became very lost trying to find my hotel again, but fortunately Google maps saved the day.
Because the skies were sort of gray in Udine and I spent most of my time getting settled in, the only photo I took was the view from the Venice train station.
I did not bring my laptop with me and so I am dictating this using my phone. I will probably only post one or two photos to each blog post and then go back and add more after I return home.
Next up – Day 2 ~ Thursday in Udine