The Gofmans in Italy – day 2

Our plan for day 2 of the visit was a short leg to Murano Island to see how the famous Venetian glass is made and then a longer leg to Verona.

We woke up nice and early and hit the road before 9 AM. We went, by car this time, to Piaza De Roma (Venice central bus station) to park our cars and to take a water taxi to Murano island.

We caught a water shuttle to the Island which went through the central canal to the open sea. 2bc4ad78-8b14-49f5-8810-aac5cf77ac51
On the way we couldn’t help noticing a “delivery truck” making deliveries which among other packages included a prominent delivery. I guess 2 day delivery is available even in Venice… 🙂

After arriving to the island a promoter told us the Glass Blowing factory, with a show starting soon is on our left but everybody felt hungry and decided to turn right and go look for a place to eat.


It didn’t take us too long to find a very nice cafeteria which served all sorts of local cuisine. Our breakfast was comprised mostly of Pizza 🙂

After quenching our hunger we decided to go what we came for… go see glass being made. On the way to the factory I noticed a huge mailbox which, based on its looks, made me wonder whether it was still active…
On the way to the factory I wondered how all the engines on the various boats were refueled. And while walking an answer presented itself. Apparently there are gas stations for boats… 🙂
Finally we arrived to the factory closest to the “bus station”. We were told there is a demonstration starting soon, that we can take pictures while at the demonstration (no flashes please) and that while visiting the adjacent shop no photos are allowed.

The demonstration started with showing the audience a bowl with finely grounded powder telling us it was the raw material. This material is heated up in a kiln until its red hot, then extracted and blown. The artisans demonstrated blowing up various artifacts ending up with blowing and shaping a horse statue.

The person making the horse statue had to work extra fast since the glass solidifies very rapidly.

The end result was very impressive but the items showing in the store were much more complex and impressive. We were especially impressed by the various color glass stripes seemingly emanating from the center and shaped as plates, bowls or vases. Clearly this arrangement was a trade secret as none of us could come up with a plausible way of accomplishing such a feat. Here are a few pictures from the Internet:

As we had a long plan ahead we decided to get back to our cars and again used the shuttle.

Then we headed to Verona. This was a drive of about 100 KM each way but well worth it. Roni, Or and Lee got slightly ahead of us and arrive there first. We followed suit to the same parking location. As we entered Verona Jonny exclaimed that it reminded him of Netanya of all places… 🙂

As all tourist places in Italy, Verona also had a massive representation of major brand shops (Gucci, Sapora, Adidas, Banana Republic etc…) but as we didn’t come for shopping (more on this later in this post and on day 3) we walked through the shopping district to the theater.

We learnt that the Roman theater is still active showing productions of operas and classical music on a daily basis under the open sky (a mental note for next visit…)


Apparently the stability of the structure is monitored somehow as is evedint but he fiduciary marks affixed to the building walls.


One of Jonnies tasks for the trip was to eat some “real Italian food”. So after seeing the theater we decided to have lunch. We searched for a nice looking restaurant “serving “real Italian food”, found one and entered in.

It was a nice looking restaurant with a huge pizza oven behind the counter. We got our menus. For most of us the choice was easy. All went smoothly until the ordering got to Jonny. He asked the elderly waiter whether they serve Spaghetti Bolognese. The waiter looked at Jonny with a rather offended look and replied they didn’t serve meat in this restaurant. If the young gentleman wants to eat peasant food he is welcome to any other restaurant as there are plenty outside… (or something offensively resembling…). Eventually we all ordered to our satisfaction.

img_1472After finishing lunch we headed (or so I thought) to the cars. On the walk through the shopping area I spotted a nice Ice-cream parlor which I wanted to sample. So I headed there but on the way the girls started “peeling off” the group with the last one being Karen who instructed “the men to continue and we will meet you later”. So the remaining “guys” (Or, Jonny and me) went into the ice-cream parlor, waited in the queue, ordered some ice-cream, ate it, went to the shop where Karen gave her instruction, waited outside for quite a while, sent Jonny in for reconnaissence, learnt the girls weren’t in and then looked for a way to occupy ourselves). We went into the Adidas shop to see “whats being sold” then after awhile Or told us the loss was located… (remember we didn’t come for shopping…)

After “exhausting” Verona (we decided the Romeo and Julia site wasn’t worth our while) we decide to head back to the hotel and the kids stayed behind.

Karen did the driving for the day and we drove over the high quality Italian toll road back to our hotel where Jonny hit the swimming pool and Karen relaxed on the deck.

The whole time I wanted to compare the offerings of the Italian McDonalds to the Israeli one (the Israeli one now runs an ad campaign under the slogan “two drops of water like Europe). Karen decided we needed some sustenance for the long trip tomorrow (stuff like drinking water and fruit) so I used the opportunity and asked whether she could bring me a burger with salad (by that time, after two days of non stop walking, I couldn’t walk at all as my toe has developed a blister of an alarming size…).

Once Karen got back with my burger it made me laugh as the “two drops of water Europe” sized burger was the size of a kid burger back home… 🙂 🙂 🙂