June 24, 2011 10:09am Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher No Comments

Packed up the case and went up the many steps of the Rialto bridge in the scorching Venetian sunshine to make my way to the shores of Lake Garda. Had to get to the airport via boat and bus to fetch a car to drive to the quaint little Italian village Malcesine. Once inside the airport I realised that I had left my handbag on the bus. My handbag that contained all my money, credit cards, passport, camera and iPhone. Oh my God my iPhone!!! The sense of woe and fear hit me so hard it was like a near death experience. I ran, as speedily as my adrenaline would allow in a long flowing maxi dress and wedged heels and made it back to the bus just before it drove off with the next lot of passengers.
” My bag, my bag I’ve lost my bag!” I wailed to the startled bus load.
“You mean your purse?” asked a nearby American man.
” Yes! Purse, bag, you know, whatever you want to call it!”
“Is this it? ” he smiled as he held up my bag. I could have kissed him. Phew! See, good karma is coming back to me!
Got the car keys and took the lengthy trek to the car park to get the car. However, the car seemed to have a mechanical issue that decided to come about 20 minutes into the journey. Black smoke began to pour out of the exhaust and the gears kept slipping out. Pulled into a garage followed by a friendly Italian guy who told me it was a turbo fault and I should take the car back immediately. Great! The Italian car hire people did not want to change the car they wanted to fix it. Eventually got another one and continued on the journey. Signs to Malcesine are non existent and I thought I was going to end up in Milan! The views on route were spectacular with endless vineyards (always a good sign!) and mountains rearing up on all sides. It was at this point that I realised why I had the fortune of finding a lost umbrella at the airport in England. The heavens opened and the rain came down in bucket loads. Black clouds hung over the mountain tops,thunder and lightning cracked through the skies,the wind picked up and rivers began to flow hastily down the street. I wondered if I’d accidentally made it back to the UK and landed in Cumbria. Stayed in my parked car outside Casa Popi, miserable and wanting to go back to Venice where it was hot and sultry and not cold and rainy. Half an hour later it eased off and I splashed my way into the hotel. A very quaint, home run little affair with absolutely nobody on reception. Despite ringing the bell endlessly and shouting ” Buon Giorno” at the top of my voice in various melodic tones nobody came. I was starting to hate Malcesine at this point. Eventually a lady arrived with an almost ” yeah, what?” kind of attitude and I held back the raging urge to hit her with my umbrella. I felt the need to blog, write or play word so asked if they had WI-FI.
” No WI-FI” she said. Deep breaths Juliette 1..2…3…4
The lady began to warm up and made me a nice cappuccino before taking me to my room where despite the rainy weather I had a beautiful terrace outside overlooking the mountains and Lake Garda. I thought about what the ‘Dalai lama’ would say about becoming one with nature and began to relax into the tranquil atmosphere. Walked to a nearby trattoria and had some home made stone baked pizza and some well needed bardolino whilst sat on the roof top ( sun had come back) and all of a sudden the world began to right itself. Walked into the little town through the cobbled streets where Italian musicians were playing whilst people drank and dined al fresco at the endless little bars and cafes. I started to fall in love with Malcesine and sat with a tequila sunrise at a bar with WI-FI and a big smile on my face.

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