And so the travel plans continue......
I finally sent a direct email to the Hotel Porta San Mamolo in Bologna this morning, figuring that perhaps their on-line inquiry system wasn't working. Sure enough, the hotel quickly answered me, so I'm finally booked for a week in Bologna.
And I've confirmed my reservation with the Pensione Accademia, in Venice, for a small single, canal room window. Typical of me, I pestered them questions about the canal view room versus the garden view single room. The original hotel offer of the garden-view room described it as quite large, with a queen-sized bed. That sounded good, especially after I saw photos on TripAdvisor where a traveller had posted shots of her single, canal-view room on the top floor. She was extremely happy, but to me it did not really attractive. Extremely narrow, with only a tiny window, and a very tiny bed with a small desk wedged in at the side.
However, the Pensione finally told me today that the garden view room is at ground level. To me, that's really not appealing. I worry a bit about security (I know it's probably foolish, but I would worry about someone breaking in while I was asleep) And if breakfast is served in the garden, I don't think I'd enjoy stepping out of the shower in full view of the breakfast crowd, which would mean, basically keeping the curtains drawn much of the time. Dreary.
So, the small, single canal view room it will be and it will almost certainly be much better than what was depicted in that lone traveler's photo. I'll be on the first floor so perhaps the rooms will have a different layout. (Clearly, I have waaaay too much time on my hands to be fretting about such things!) I know that I shouldn't worry so much -- after all, I'll be in Venice!!!! But, my surroundings have an impact on my mood, and if it rains, I may end up whiling away an afternoon, reading on the bed. So I'd like it to be a good bed.
Now my new obsession: several reviews on Trip Advisor mentioned the canal room views can be noisy at dawn, with boats tooting their horns before entering the Grand Canal from the smaller canal that runs alongside the Pensione. So, I'll fret about that for a while; get it out of my system, and then begin planning more serious things, like my opera tickets.
Still, in premature preparation for Venice (okay, I know, it's way too soon for serious preparation) last night I watched part of the 1955 movie Summertime, with Katharine Hepburn. Set in Venice, the director David Lean used the Pensione Accademia as the setting for the Pensione Fiorini, where Hepburn's character Jane Hudson stays during her life-altering trip.
I'm actually a fan of this movie, in part because Kepburn is so great an actor. But it's also interesting to see her character develop, as she discovers that love isn't often what we expect it to be and as she learns to let down her guard a little and mature. That can be extraordinarily difficult to do; it's very easy to remain cynical and guarded, and popular culture is full of cautionary tales, usually about women who let down their guard and pay severely for their errors in judgment.
In the storyline of this movie, it's very clear that Jane pays a price (although not the one she expects) and is ultimately a better, probably happier, more complete person for it. In that way, I think the movie has a happy ending, if not in the conventional manner of happy endings.
An interesting bit of trivia: in the scene where Hepburn's character falls into the canal, apparently she emerged with a serious eye infection, which remained a problem for the rest of her life.