Travis' family lives in Vicenza, which is a town outside of Venice. We've been exploring the downtown area the past couple of days, and it's all I've ever wanted! I'm really glad I got to experience the less-touristy side of Italy and really observe the culture. Downtown is a lot more vibrant than it is in similarly sized US cities, and people, tons of people, walk around at night on the weekends. It's what my hometown looks like when a festival is going on, and I loved it. Little clothing tents set up on the streets and tons of historic buildings and statues, museums, and shops.
Authentic Italian cappuccinos and pizza, as delicious as you're imagining right now! I found it pretty intimidating not speaking the native language, and wanted to be able to communicate with the waiters. I'm going to study up before we head to Venice next week.
Some things I've learned:
-In Italy water isn't free at restaurants, and they give you bubbly water by default. You have to ask for litre naturale.
-You are paying essentially for the table space at a cafe, and there is no obligation to get the check quickly and free up seating.
-You don't need to tip waiters, and they don't attend to you as closely as in America.
-There are a lot of roundabouts and Italians drive really fast. I am really glad Travis' Mom has been driving us!
We also went to Monte Berico, which has an amazing lookout view over Vencinza Centro. Its so beautiful here, just like I pictured!