Day 19 – part 1 – Coccaglio & train travel to Venice – 6-11-17

After breakfast, we walked to another park in Coccaglio. Along the way, we passed by the Chiesa di San Pietro. I recognized this church from my visit back in 2003. It was closed this time, but I was able to peek inside this church years ago. Below are two photos of Chiesa di San Pietro –  a photo of the outside of the church from this summer and a photo peeking into the church from 2003.

Here’s Guido pushing their adorable twins on the swings at the park. He is such a great dad! The twins love swinging on the swings.

Coccaglio, Italy, June, 2017

After time at the park, we walked to Katia’s parents’ house for Sunday dinner. Years ago, I told Katia’s mother a story about how my grandmother used to make this wonderful chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce. She still remembers that story and always makes a similar dish for me when I am visiting in Coccaglio. Along with the chicken, we had yummy polenta, cheese, bread, fresh fruit, and gelato for dessert.

We spent a little more time at Katia’s parents’ house and then I said my goodbyes. I really enjoyed spending time with Katia’s family during my weekend visit this year. We went back to Katia & Guido’s house to grab my bags and then Katia drove me to the Rovato train station. I needed to catch the 14:19 regional train to get to Brescia in time for my reservation on the 15:23 Frecciarossa train from Brescia to Venice.

We stopped in the center of Coccaglio for a moment on the way to the Rovato train station so I could take a couple of photos.  

When we arrived at the Rovato train station, we were not able to find any ticket validation boxes that were functioning. There also was no ticket window to talk to anyone. I wrote the date/time on my ticket, hoping that would be ok.

We waited together for my train to arrive. It too short of visit this year. We were both very sad to say goodbye. When my train arrived, we quickly hugged and I boarded my train for Brescia. It was a 19 minute ride. No one ever came by to check my ticket.

Once in Brescia. I had about 50 minutes to wait before my train to Venice would arrive. I thought about walking to the center of Brescia but I didn’t want to risk missing my train. Instead, I took a some photos around the station and then went to find somewhere to sit and wait for my train to arrive.

The Brescia station is not very passenger friendly when it comes to a place to sit and wait for your train. I was only able to find 3 tiny seats along the entire binario (platform) number 1 where my train was arriving. At most train stations, there usually are many available places to sit along the 1st binario.

Two of the seats were already occupied by two men. I sat on the 3rd seat. Not long after I sat down, the two men were shooed away by a train worker so that an elderly couple could sit there. We struck up a conversation as we waited for our train. They were very nice. They told me that they used to live in Venice (on the island) but moved to Venezia Mestre because of the number of tourists in Venice and how it has ruined life for so many locals living there.

My train arrived on time. I had forgotten that I reserved a seat in the silence business class car. I think that car had the best discount deal at the time I booked my reservation. My car was empty (and very silent) with lots of space for luggage. I took a few photos to show what the car looks like (it’s the same as a regular business class car).

When we arrived I walked over to the ticket booth down by the Grand Canal outside of the train station to purchase a 1-day vaporetto pass. There was a long line and I could already feel that tourist tension of people frustrated about waiting in line. After getting my pass, I went to where I thought my vaporetto would arrive. It’s a good thing I asked. After I passed through the little gate, I was told that I was in the wrong spot.

Once in the correct waiting spot, I waited for the next vaporetto to arrive. As I boarded the vaporetto, I was shocked at the attitude of one of the vaporetto workers. He was barking out orders to everyone, telling everyone to pile up their luggage in one specific area on the boat. He was not a happy worker. When he walked over to me, I told him that I was getting off at the San Stae stop (which was only a couple of stops away). He made some sort of comment and let me keep my bags. Next, he started to go around yelling at everyone, saying “NO backpacks on!”.  He even started to pull one backpack off of someone’s back. This certainly was a big change from the last time I was in Venice riding the vaporetto with my luggage from the train station.

Here’s a couple of photos I took before we arrived at my San Stae stop.

I was very glad to get off that vaporetto! I looked at the map carefully before leaving to Italy to figure out how to arrive at my B&B. I was pretty familiar with the Santa Croce area where my B&B was located. Even so, I also spoke to the owner a week before I arrived, asking for directions. He said it was easy to find and did not want to bother to provide me with any directions. That should have been a sign. After getting off the vaporetto, I put the address of my B&B into google maps. I walked up and down the side street where my B&B was located, having to lug my bags back and forth over a couple of bridges twice. I finally called and told the owner that I was lost. It was very frustrating as he still was not very helpful. He finally agreed to come out and look for me.

I checked into B&B Cà Del Tentor, which was located up a set of long narrow stairs. I paid for my room in advance as I would be departing early the following morning. I do not recommend this B&B! My room was disgusting! The toilet was dirty and there were hairs on the towels. I was not happy at all but I knew there was no way I would be able to find another place to stay at the last minute.  At least it was just for one night!

*I’m going to stop here and do a second post to share my evening in Venice along with some photos I took of the Santa Croce Sestiere (district) and my vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco.

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