Buon anno! Happy new year!
We closed out 2013 in a pleasant way. We had planned to go out to eat dinner, but then realized that restaurants were requiring reservations and that most were already totally booked.
Instead, we went across the closest canal to a large square that had a grocery store, a bakery, a fruit and vegetable vendor, and other food options and we assembled a feast.
Italian grocery stores are interesting. For example, I learned that if you do not wear plastic food service gloves when handling produce, you will be fussed at in rapid-fire Italian. Also, you MUST put your produce in plastic bags and then you MUST weigh and tag it yourself. All while wearing slippery gloves.
Also, bring your own bags to the store or you will have to buy plastic bags. You will also have to bag your own groceries. Most Venetians seem to either carry some sort of basket on one arm if they’re buying only a few things or pull along wheeled grocery bags if they have larger loads.
At any rate, we bought fresh pasta, a roasted chicken, vegetables, olive oil, salt, gelato, wine, and cheeseand we ate like kings.
After a lovely dinner and a leisurely evening, we put on our coats and headed outside around 11:45. We knew that people would be gathering in various squares and plazas, so we went to a large one near us. Sure enough, there were people hanging out and preparing to ring in the new year.
At midnight, various Italians shot off amateur fireworks. These were the loudest fireworks I’ve ever heard. Seriously, these were not American fireworks. People had been shooting them off all evening and the first time we heard one, we wondered if we should duck and wait for the gunfire to cease.
After that, we decided to head back to the flat, as we were footsore from having walked so much earlier in the day, plus we weren’t about to take to public carousing with our teenagers. I expected that we’d hear fireworks and general merriment all night, but things seemed to get quiet by about 1:00.
And that is how we rang in 2014.