I’ve brought a wool blanket and stuffed it into my backpack for the boat tour to the Murano, Turcello, and Burrano Islands. We pull our soaked sock feet tied in plastic bags and cover ourselves with the blanket, enjoying the view.
When we arrive at Murrano, we are shuttled into a showroom, where the glassmakers demonstrate the creation of a glass unicorn. I am feet away from third degree burns. It is warm and toasty; I might be interested all day.
I am asked if I would like to visit the private showroom upstairs. The girls are with me, Zach off sight from this glass wonderland. As we climb the stairs, I see hand-blown glass, grand chandeliers. There are giant vases and sculptures in all colours. Not something I can bring home in my backpack. He tells me they ship all over the world, at no cost. If I were a collector, I would purchase the Noah’s ark set for Zach, or the Under the Sea dolphin set for Madelyn. In efforts to downsize, this room is not for me. But I smile politely and buy things with my eyes, to store in my memories.
Turcello is my favourite island: I could live here. The water placid and glassy, the overcast capturing this world in an ornamental globe, sitting atop my fireplace mantle. The gelato is really good. The museum is closed, the shops are closed, but there is a playground with trampoline and tire swings, and the children are happy.
Buranno is as charming as I’m told. Smartie-coloured homes like Inuvik, Northwest Territories, but Italian-style. Enough shops to amuse the tourists, pizzerias, gellaterias. We must get another gelato. The best gelato yet, Nutella-flavoured, stracciateli, chocolate fudge with Nutella. This island is known for its lace, tatted lace, lace runners, baby dresses, tablecloths. It reminds me of our gift opening day. Gift after gift of doilies. It is refreshing that somewhere in the world, this is still appreciated.
At the end of these five hours, we are all tired. We just want to cuddle in a warm apartment and sleep. First, an hour walk home in the rain.