Venice Italy The Bird Lady

Venice is​ an​ old and somewhat eccentric city in​ Italy. Built long ago on​ marshlands,​ I was surprised to​ find myself spending my first night in​ the​ city with the​ bird lady.

Rent a​ Room

As is​ common with many cities in​ Europe,​ one can rent a​ room in​ a​ private home at​ the​ train station. the​ advantage of​ renting a​ room is​ you​ get to​ live with a​ family and the​ costs tend to​ be a​ lot cheaper than a​ hotel room. if​ you’re lucky,​ the​ family will take a​ liking to​ you​ and haul you​ around to​ see the​ “real” city you​ are in.

I had just arrived in​ Venice on​ a​ train from Paris. it​ was late,​ I was tired and in​ no mood to​ be picky about lodging. as​ I walked up to​ the​ rent a​ room desk,​ I had two priorities: sleep and a​ shower.

The elderly lady at​ the​ desk smiled at​ me and we got down to​ business. Apparently,​ arriving in​ Venice around midnight in​ the​ middle of​ August wasn’t a​ wise move. I was told most everything was sold out,​ but there were two rooms still open. the​ first was 45 minutes outside of​ the​ city while the​ second was just off Piazza San Marco,​ the​ central square you​ see in​ all the​ movies. I booked the​ San Marco room,​ given a​ map and off I went.

As it​ was late and I was tired,​ it​ never occurred to​ me to​ ask why a​ room so close to​ Piazza San Marco was open when everything else was taken. as​ I walked through the​ very narrow streets of​ Venice,​ I was too tired to​ really care.

Following the​ map,​ I walked into the​ square and started heading toward the​ glass shops at​ the​ far end. the​ walk through the​ otherwise delightful square was a​ killer on​ my headache as​ the​ mini-orchestras dueled the​ night away. Reaching the​ end,​ I found the​ little alley indicated on​ the​ map and through I went into more winding little streets.

Eventually,​ I found the​ door and gave it​ a​ knock. Like a​ bad Monty Python movie,​ a​ little viewing slot opened,​ eyes looked at​ me and my backpack,​ the​ door opened and I was literally pulled inside. Before me stood a​ little older lady with wild hair. at​ this point,​ I started to​ understand why the​ room was available. Turns out I was wrong,​ as​ “Michelle” turned out to​ be very sane and nice.

Michelle gave me the​ run down on​ the​ house and her basic rules. She went into a​ long diatribe about keeping the​ doors closed because of​ something she didn’t know the​ English word for. I kept nodding and we proceed to​ the​ door that would let us into the​ house proper.

Inside the​ door,​ the​ house took on​ an​ entirely new atmosphere. Michelle was a​ big fan of​ birds. She had little yellow birds,​ red birds,​ black birds and I swear a​ few humming birds. None of​ them were in​ cages. I had booked a​ room in​ an​ informal Aviary!

Fortunately,​ my room had been bird-proofed by keeping the​ door closed. as​ I lay in​ bed,​ however,​ I could hear chirping and wings flapping as​ the​ other guests flew around the​ rooms. Over the​ next two days,​ I never got use to​ opening the​ door and seeing birds whipping by or​ perched and staring at​ me. I imagine this is​ where Alfred Hitchcock picked up some of​ his ideas.

As far as​ I know,​ Michelle is​ still in​ Venice and still renting out rooms. if​ you’re a​ bird enthusiast,​ just ask for the​ bird hotel at​ the​ train station in​ Venice.
Venice Italy The Bird Lady Venice Italy The Bird Lady Reviewed by Henda Yesti on January 17, 2018 Rating: 5

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