Bozen/Bolsano was the nearest large town close to us. (All the towns in this part of Italy have two names: German and Italian.)
We headed down the twisty-turny, often one-laned roads to the beautiful drive to Bozen.
Just as we picked the busiest day at the Milan Expo ever, Bozen was a traffic-crazed pedestrian extravaganza. We knew where we wanted to go, but you couldn’t get there from here.
Another great example of being grateful for Buds. I would have ditched Bozen and headed back home for a quiet afternoon, but he kept navigating us to new places to attempt to park, and we finally found a great, free spot on the street. It was restricted parking until 1 p.m. We pulled into the spot at 12:30. After 1 it was free and open. We decided we’d risk it.
We walked down the road and found a delightful pizzeria to relax. The streets were crazy crowded due to the Saturday markets, but Buds found us a quiet, side-street location where we could sit right down.
In Bozen we had our first exposure to “Love Locks.” We have since seen them all over Italy.
After lunch we headed off on a very long walk to take the funicular up to the top of the mountains.
While waiting for our ride up the mountain, I had my first experience with Italian “rage.” (Spoiler alert, Italian rage is actually all for show, and pretty hilarious. It involves hand waving and extensive gesturing and eye rolling. None of this disturbs me.)
Yessa needed to use the restroom, and there was a very long line of women waiting, and no one in the men’s restroom. (Typical.)
I asked Yessa if she was comfortable using the men’s, and she was, so we sent Buster in to check out the set up for us, then Yessa, and one of the women waiting in line headed in. I set myself up as sentry to block anyone going on. (The other tourist who went in was Asian, so it was only through a hilarious use of facial expressions and hand gestures that I was able to explain I would watch the door and she could feel safe. We couldn’t use Italian or English, but kind faces and laughter…and pantomime…go a long way.)
The two headed into the men’s and immediately a tall Italian man showed up. I explained to him that he would have to wait, using my body has a human shield. He didn’t speak English, but was very pleasant and figured out quickly what I meant.
Yessa popped out of the restroom soon after, so if he had any confusion, it was cleared up. I still had to wait for my other tourist friend to finish.
Then the bouncy, emphatic Italian man showed up. He was actually a worker and apparently wanted to service the restroom, but I was adamant that he was not getting in. His blustery “rage” began immediately. He gestured to the emblem on his jacket sleeve which could have said, “I love dogs.” for all I knew, but he seemed convinced that I should willingly move out of the way for him.
As he got bouncier and more gesturier, the patient Italian man decided it was time to step in.
“It will just take a minute.”
“Bluster, bluster, must do my job.”
Hand waving, smiling face, “It will only be a minute.”
“More bluster, more hand-waving, Stupid American.”
“It will only be a minute.”
My tourist friend popped out of the restroom, she and I both giggled, I touched the arm of the kind man with a sincere “grazi,” and we were on our way.
Still makes me smile.
The smiling grew a little strained on the funicular ride. It was amazing, and beautiful, but you’ve got to have a fair amount of trust in the world to step into a glass box with strangers and count on that wire to haul you high up in the air, high up in the mountains.
The funicular moves at a decent clip, and the ride still took 10-15 minutes.
People actually use the funicular to commute back and forth to work from homes high in the hills. We spent a few minutes at the top, realized they didn’t sell gelato up there, and headed back down.
The walk through Bozen was a great way to see many parts of the city.
Bozen also houses a museum with “Ice Man.” We’d had enough adventures for this day, but I’d like to see Ice Man next time.