Last Day in Italy

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End May 30, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Friday, May 30, 2008

May 29 - Our last full day in Italy. We take the bus boat to two small nearby islands, Murano and Burano. It takes nearly an hour to get to Murano, getting on and off boats and some walking in Venice to get there. Murano is best known for making beautiful glass products. Lynnette and Bonnie both want to visit a bead store that sells mainly Murano glass beads that can be made into jewelry. The store is hot and Gary and I spend the time outside having a Cappucino at a bar a few doors down. After that we visit another store, an outlet for one of the family run factories, and G & B end up commissioning a beautiful light fixture for their new lake home in Wisconsin. The designer was running the store and her dad and husband work at the factory. They will make the fixture, wire it for USA, and ship it for, according to Gary, about the same as the price of the fixtures they were looking at in Wisconsin. After that we take off on the bus boat for Burano, another half hour ride. Burano has a different look than other places we've seen around here with brightly colored buildings, similar to what I remember seeing in England with a single building having 3 or 4 colors, separated vertically, to differentiate the multi-level townhomes within it. It definitely wins our Italy trip prize for most colorful, especially since most people had lots of beautiful flowers growing in pots or in window boxes. It is really a very pretty place, with canals running through it like Venice and Murano. Burano is known for making lace and there are lots of little stores selling lace as well as Murano glass, Venice carnival masks, and other tourist treasures. After lunch there, we walk around taking in the picturesque village and taking pictures like crazy. We head back to Venice for a little rest before our final dinner in Italy. We're eating early tonight, 7pm, because Gary and Bonnie have an early flight and will be leaving for the airport around 5am. Our flight is not until 1 so we'll be able to have a leisurely breakfast before heading home.

Things I learned:
1. It is a good idea to take only carry-on size bags, but it would be better to check one of them so that you can bring more of the restricted items like toothpaste, Woolite or liquid clothes washing soap, shampoo, a knife, scissors and a corkscrew. Although readily available items like toothpaste are twice as much money and you'll have to buy stuff like Woolite in large bottles. Most of our hotels/B&Bs provided soap and shampoo but not all.
2. Bring a washcloth or two. None of the places we stayed provided one. They all had towels but no washcloths.
3. Bring plenty of things like Ibuprofen, Alka Seltzer, Tums, Band-Aids, cold medicine, etc. just in case you need them. Again, these things are available but cost 2 or 3 times as much and are not always easy to find.
4. We had no problem getting cash from ATM's, and we think that is the best way, rather than taking dollars or travelers checks and trying to convert to Euros. There are a surprising number of restaurants and hotels that do not take credit cards, but most take MasterCard and Visa.
5. We saw three or four McDonalds total and no KFC, Pizza Hut, or Starbucks. This was a refreshing change from what we saw in China. Coca Cola was the biggest US brand I noticed in Italy.
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