by Melinda Gallo

German water and Chinese beer

We took the crowded #82 vaporetto from Accademia to Lido. After being cramped on the vaporetto for about 30 minutes, we arrived. I jumped in the first and only taxi waiting at the taxi station. I couldn't imagine us lugging our luggage for 10 minutes in the heat.

I thought our hotel was on the beach, but we were actually on the side of the island that faces Venice. The beach is on the other side of the island. It was quiet on our side of the island and we were so hungry that we decided to eat at the hotel.

At our hotel, we found many oddities that I never knew existed in Italy. I assumed that things would be quite similar on Lido as they are throughout the country. There are obvious differences, like how they asked us if we wanted ground black pepper on our pasta. In Florence, I've never seen anyone ask if we wanted pepper on anything except possibly salad.

For lunch, they brought a German still water. I never knew that Italians imported water since they have so many brands themselves. And if they did, I'd expect it to be French. And when Dave asked for a beer, I figured it'd be German, like the water, but he got a bottle of "Tiger Beer" from China.

To finish off, I ordered a caffè latte for Dave and the man asked me if I wanted, "un caffè american con latte?" (an American coffee with milk?) I responded, "No, un cappuccino senza schiuma e con più latte." (No, a cappuccino without foam and with more milk.)

The regional differences are alive and well in Italy.

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