Virtual Venice

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I remember the first time I went to Venice, Italy. I took the train and arrived at the Venezia Santa Lucia station. It was a big station with lots of trains. Some of which went all over Europe and not just Italy. It’s partly outside. Or rather, the station isn’t fully covered. I walked out of the station into the city.

I found myself walking down stairs to a sight I’ve never seen before. Sure I’ve seen pictures, but this was so overwhelming beautiful that I had to stop walking to realize that I was gaping at the Grand Canal.

I used to get so lost in the labyrinth. In the dark, Venice is very medieval. Some streets are quite narrow. And the traffic on the Grand Canal is insane.

No really, it is. There are vaporetti (water buses) which are large and tend to be full of people. Then there are water taxis, personal motorboats, personal rowboats, gondole (gondolas), and traghetti (gondola ferries). I didn’t see any accidents. I’m sure they are used to it, but imagine how it looks to someone who doesn’t see rowboats and motorboats together on the same waterways…

I finally went to Venice again… that is on the OsGrid by Mona Lilla. The little sim reminded me of the real city. Its virtual version is much smaller than its real version and a bit weird. The Rialto bridge was next to St. Mark’s Plaza. Sadly, the virtual version was missing the free range cats.

Yes, the cats. The Venetians love them. They told me they have rats the size of my dear Nuri. The cats who roam Venice are bigger than she is… What do they feed those cats? Those cats are friendly and outgoing. They know they are appreciated.

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Yes, it’s lovely view from the bridge…

If you’re not used to it, yes it’s breath taking to see the canals from the bridges.

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…but in the real city, it is not a good idea to take pictures while people are trying to get around the city…

In the real city, Venetians walk fast. They have somewhere to go. Please don’t stop on the bridges and hinder them. You will make them mad and they may push you. Best to step out of the way of anyone who is walking faster than you are.

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St. Mark’s Square with the birds of course, but with the Rialto bridge not too far away?

There are lots of birds in St. Mark’s Square. Many are pigeons and some are the larger sea gulls. Careful when eating in the square. Best to eat under cover or else the birds will steal your lunch.

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Are you the bot of my dreams?

If you get close enough to this guy, he will start talking to you. Ever try to chat with an AI or even one named Siri? Well, he’s a chat bot and will admit to it readily. But he doesn’t know if his job is fun. Hmmm… the life of an AI…

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I’ve got my eye on you!

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Ragazzi, I mean Gondolieri, do you work all night?

I’ll make a little note here: In the real city, there are two women who are gondoliers. You can’t miss them if you see them. From what I hear, it is extremely hard to get into the gondolier guild. Typically, the people who get in are related to those who are or were gondoliers. However, anyone can attend the gondolier school. And no, I didn’t go to that school while I was there…

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Ah, now it is time for a gondola ride.

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Here we go…

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Where will this tour take me?

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What is in the canal? No, it can’t be!

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That bridge looks awfully low for the gondolier…he’ll just have to duck when we get there.

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Reminds me of the gondola ride I had with the naughty gondolier…

This gondola ride was free! In Venice a gondola ride starts at €80. So I’d recommend taking a ride with at least one other person or book it through a travel agency. I took the second option and got a ride at a reasonable price. I enjoyed the ride with 5 other women whom I didn’t know.

But never mind that. I enjoyed the time in Venice and I still miss the city… I can see the cobble stone streets and the canals…

I wish I could go back…

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