Italia in 40: Day 20…Halfway Gone

Today I woke up and took the vaparetto to Ferrovia and then caught the train to Vicenza.

I thought I bought the wrong ticket again because it said Verona, but thankfully I looked at the departure schedule and it listed all of the stops and Vicenza was one.

I bought my ticket for 8 Euros and got on board. I was only 20 minutes from my destination with the attendant came through to check tickets, so I handed him mine right away.

Guess what? Even if you buy a ticket from a self-service kiosk, you have to validate it at a separate machine, which I didn’t do. He charged me an on-the-spot fine for not validating my ticket, so my trip to Vicenza ended up costing 38 Euros…I cried, a lot. This was only the second time I’ve cried on my trip (the first was right after that man came up and grabbed me form behind and I got scared) and the second was today. I was mad at myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to figure out how to travel by train efficiently and annoyed with the train attendant and mad about an 8 Euro ride costing me almost 40 Euros. It was annoying as HELL.

I finally made it to Vicenza and met up with my friend. We went to a “self service” restaurant called Richetti (rick-et-y). Which is basically like a buffet. They have a large menu and you pick the things you want off of the line and the cooks grill it for you or give you the prepared dishes. It was really reasonable! We each got a piece of grilled chicken and a side of rosemary potatoes, I got some spinach, a half a liter of wine, and a piece of cake and he got half a liter of water and a side of fruit and we each payed 16 Euros!

There is also free WiFi in the city center in Vicenza, which was awesome.

After lunch we walked across the piazza and laid in the grass and got some sun. We took selfies and played on Snapchat and talked about how expensive Italy is and how abrasive the people are, haha.

Once we started getting hot, we decided to get up. My friend is living in a suburb of Vicenza for his internship and needed to subscribe to an Italian Wifi service so he could get online from his apartment. We went to WIND (owned by or partnered with Huawei) and he bought a Wifi hotspot and two months of service for 80 Euros. It is UNREAL how expensive and inaccessible internet is here. For 70 Euros he is only allowed to use 10 GB…the salesperson told him he can’t go on Youtube or use Skype Video or anything. Basically just Facebook and internet audio calls. And it’s not like he can buy more if he uses up the 10 GB…it just locks him out! He could have been lying, but the salesperson said that is the highest amount of WiFi you can purchase in Italy.

I don’t know if there is a limit in America, but I know I watch Netflix and use YouTube like a crazy person and have never been kicked off or locked out. I do know some cell companies slow the speed of your service down if you use too much, but still…

Also, GUESS how much it costs to buy an iPhone 5s and a month of service?! OVER 700 EUROS! Even the associate at WIND said that the U.S. is really goot for internet and data usage…I was FLOORED that it costs so much.

Although some stuff was expensive, I do think WIND has some good deals for SMS and calling plans in Italy!

On our way to WIND I ran into a mini-mart to buy some water and it turns out it was an Eastern European market. Everything was written in Cyrillic, but the water was CHEAP! I got two bottles for 78 cents! I wish I could have found a place like that here in Venice so I could have loaded up on my first day!

We went back to the city center after my friend finished at WIND and just walked around. This is a holiday weekend and Italy and there was a parade taking place in Vicenza, celebrating the Festa della Repubblica! It’s kind of like our Independence Day!  There was a parade and several bands and all kinds of neat stuff (once again, I will upload video when I have reliable internet).

We stopped and got a gelato. I want to try some unique flavors while I was here, but I always get stracciatella or chocolate. After we finished the gelato we went to Venti 5 and I ordered a spritz (this one had Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water) so that we could go pee.

After the drink and bathroom break, we just sat in the piazza and listened to the bands and talked. I was going to stay with him, but I needed to come back to Venice since I payed for my hotel room already…I was super bummed because I may never see him again, but I needed to be responsible since I also lost $50 on the train ride there. He thought about coming back with me to Venice, but I only have a twin bed and we couldn’t figure out a way for him to get back to his place tomorrow since it’s a holiday weekend.

We went to EuroSpar, a supermarket chain here in Italy, and bought him groceries for his new place and then I went to the train station. I got my return ticket for 6 Euros and was SURE to validate it this time! I got on the right train and made it to Venice in 40 minutes. I got right onto the vaporetto to my stop and was back to my place within an hour and fifteen minutes.

I went back to my old reliable place and got more sardines, calamari, and potatoes and my silver fox friend only charged me 10 Euros again, woo hoo!

Tomorrow is my last day in Venice. My friend might come visit me, but either way I am going to the Festa della Sensa. It’s a large festival here in Venice and the main day is tomorrow. Apparently there are gondola races and all kinds of other crazy stuff, so I hope to get some good pictures and footage.

I have to try really hard to save money for the rest of my trip, so I don’t know what all I will be doing in Naples, but I will try to hunt down some bargains and fun things to do!

Get ready for some Festa della Sensa action tomorrow, friends!

*uploading pictures eventually, just be patient and I’m sorry 😦