Wed 31st July.
A train to Treviso.
My Italian friend in London Guilia was from Treviso, north of Venice. She too told me to let her know when I was in Italy and she would connect me with friends that lived there. As I was near Treviso we had organised to stay with her friends Marco and Isabelle.
It was still extremely hot and cycling in it had caused heat rash on my legs. I noticed it a few days ago but it was only in Bologna that it became more noticeable. Heat rash occurs when your pores open up and need to release sweat but can’t and your pores become blocked and slightly infected. The rash took place on the back of my calves due to rubbing while cycling. Some of the rash had begun to blister, combined with the numerous mosquito bites all over I was in some discomfort and starting to look forward to cooler climates again.
I knew there would be some consequences to cycling in great heat and this was it. All I could do was take it easy and keep it clean to avoid further infection. A train up to Mestre, near Treviso would save a days riding in the heat.
I cycled through Bologna, leaving plenty of time to get to the station. I had loved my time here and again felt a strong connection to the city, but given the nature of the trip I had to keep moving. Although tomorrow I would be in Venice, famed for me by the video game Tomb Raider II, I’d spent hours playing as a teen, adding to the mythical allure of Italy.
I would use Treviso as a base to get the train to Venice and back, avoiding the awkward and expensive procedure of staying in Venice. Also I confirmed my plans to go into Slovenia and Croatia and started looking for hosts there.
There was no-one on the platform to tell me where to board the train with the bike. When it came I had to run down to the end of the platform to the carriage with a bike rack. The conductor was ready to pull away when I began boarding, he told me to hurry up, got in his carriage and blew the whistle leaving me almost short. I knew travelling with the bike wouldn’t be easy but every time I did it on train, there was a near fatal miss.
I sat down and relaxed for a few hours, crossing the Italian countryside and catching up with my book and a few other things, while I had the rare luxury of nothing to do.
Getting off the train was much easier, but then I had the pleasure of stairs to deal with. Going down was difficult enough, but going up was much more of a challenge. I had to lift the loaded bike with my right arm, stabilise with the left and get up the stairs as quickly as possible. Half way up a guy picked up the front of the bike and lifted me to salvation. I hated train stations.
I got out of the station and headed north. I found the right road and this went straight into up, into Treviso. Within an hour of cycling I was there and the hunt began for Marco and Isabella’s apartment. Again this was no easy feat due to the fact their apartment was in a small shopping area and the GPS was incapable of completing the most basic tasks. After a few wasted hours, I met Isabella and could begin to relax again.
They set me up on a spare bed in the living room where I could have a blissful deep sleep for two nights. Marco came home and we began dinner with the popular drink of Aperol on ice, lemon and prosecco. After we went into town for the small festival there that took place, two weeks a year. The area was filled with market stalls, bars and a stage for the entertainment.
We wandered through the markets, had a few beers and looked at the different stalls. Afterwards they took me into around some of the smaller streets that had canals running underneath them, which is where the nickname ‘Little Venice” came from.
We stayed out for a few more beers at a bar where they knew the owner who joined us for one. After we met some more of Marco’s friends who were out enjoying the evening late into the night on a Wednesday. Then we headed back through more historic parts of the city.