—12 May 2012—
Our last day in Italy. We hadn’t made it to the Campanile yet and were on the fence about whether to do it. We had to check out by 12:00. Jerry’s knee was giving him quite a bit of pain.
I spent more time than I intended using the hotel’s only computer with a printer to check-in for our flights home, but finally figured out the alien keyboard and that the Iberia Airlines web application wouldn’t accept “Rd.” for “road” and all ended well – boarding passes for two people for all three legs of our return.
We enjoyed our breakfast in the hotel dining room and almost made up our minds not to try for the Campanile. But with time for reflection, we had sufficient time to do it and felt we’d regret it if we didn’t, so we changed our minds again and headed out for St. Mark’s Square one more time.
We reached the Campanile about 9:15, only 15 minutes after it opened, but there was already a line to buy tickets (8 euros each) for the ascent via a single elevator. It probably didn’t take 30 minutes to get to the head of the line. We went up and photographed the beautiful views in every direction. We saw 4 cruise ships in port! That was it and we took the next elevator ride to the bottom and returned to our room.
As we finished our packing, I decided to try to find a mailing tube to protect our cruise map for the trip home. I walked a lot of steps, ws directed this way and then that with waves of hands, and never found one before I was out of time and too hot and bothered to care. I returned to the hotel and we placed the map in the unused side of our carry on bag, hoping that the camera bag wouldn’t squash it too badly.
We wrapped things up and called for help with our bags. That got us to the lobby. Once checked out, we walked down that quaint, narrow alley to the vaporetto stop with our 3 suitcases. A 30-minute ride on the river followed by a 25-minute ride on the #5 city bus got us to the airport, where we called the hotel (per earlier phone call) to pick us up. The Parkhotel Annia was across the street within spitting distance of the airport entrance. We are convinced that we could not have left the Hotel Ana in Venice in time to make our 7:40 flight and were so glad that we had changed hotels on Saturday! We checked in and made a 7:30 reservation for dinner.
Parkhotel Annia was a clean, charming “boutique” hotel, a conversion from an old farm house, which I would not have guessed without their brochure in hand. It was still a work in progress, with a pool and fitness/spa area promised. We had a spacious ground floor “suite” in the main building. Jerry took a look around the property; I took a shower. We napped, I worked on my travel diary. We dressed and had happy hour in the very European bar/lounge with the same very pleasant young woman (what cheekbones!) pouring who picked us up at the airport and checked us in. We returned to our room for a bit and then stepped out of the room and into the restaurant in about 5 steps. I had a very tasty fettuccine with scampi. Jerry had a steak with grilled vegetables. The steak was too done, but they brought him a new one that was truly medium rare and very tasty. The chef checked personally to be sure that it was right. We split a bottle of wine and a tiramisu ice cream dessert that we both liked. Back in our room, we prepped for an early departure (most things packed, clothes laid out) and set the alarm for 5:00 AM.