After spending a day walking, walking, walking around Venice recently, my husband and I made the most marvelous discovery.
Like lots of people touring the city, we were staying in a hotel along one of the train lines that run out to the suburbs—much cheaper than canal-side lodgings.
At the end of the day, that meant a 20-minute ride from the main train terminal. It felt like commuting in the evening on the metro at home—made me wish my bed were closer to where I was spending the day.
When we arrived at the station, footsore and thirsty, we found that we had just missed a train and the next one wouldn’t come for another half an hour.
Not to worry. This was Italy, so food and drink were sold in delicious profusion just steps from the tracks.
We scanned the coolers for something refreshing. Gatorade. Coke. Ginger ale. Fanta…Fanta. That’s always a good choice in Europe. What flavors? Hard to tell. We only know a few phrases of Italian, and the one we chirp fluently—chiuso per restauro, closed for restoration—wasn’t going to help us here.
But then I saw a flavor that looked interesting—arancia rosa. Could it be blood orange? In a SODA?!
Yes, it was. And it was sensational.
My husband and I sat on a bench in front of the terminal and sipped our sodas and watched the crowds go by, and life was good—exactly how the Italians intend for it to be.
I once worked with someone who knew Italy very well. He always used to say that there was no such thing as a bad meal in Italy. I thought of him at that moment. The alchemy of the Italian cucina even extends to sodas.