08 June 2006

picciones

We returned from our European vacation a few weeks ago with battered suitcases full of memories. Our room with a view of the Eiffel tower made Paris seem like a dream-come-true vacation, even if we’d flown home at the end of those three days. As tasty as our corner bakery is here in East Nashville, nothing can compare to chocolate filled croissants from a real Parisian patisserie.

Possibly the best photos from our sixteen day trip were taken in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. This was our first Italian stop and despite the throngs of Americans attempting to spoil the vibe, we found Venice both breathtaking and thoroughly amusing. Jeremy, in particular, made dozens of new friends (of the feathered variety) as we crossed the square on our way to another scoop of gelato. At first he wasn’t thrilled about the idea of having birds land all over him but I insisted on a photo, so he bought a bag of birdseed and indulged me.



Once he had overcome his fear of bird flu, and realized that the pigeons, though fat and ravenous, weren’t actually a threat, he quickly adopted the role of Venice’s favorite birdman.



At least thirty euros were shelled out over the course of 48 hours, as he snapped up bag after bag of birdseed to feed his new-found friends. Many times we’d be walking the perimeter of the square on our way to lunch or to tour a palace, and I’d turn to look for Jeremy, only to find him half way across the square buying another bag from the seed cart. “Just one more time,” he would say, with a pigeon on his head.



Before long, the pigeons would see us coming and alert the others. Pigeons flew in from nearby cities once they got word that some silly American was blowing his life savings on an enormous buffet in their honor. They began following us all around Venice, landing on Jeremy's arms and shoulders, even when he wasn’t holding any birdseed. He was like a local celebrity among park fowl. A generous stranger with endless resources. The Oprah of the Grand Canal.



I am pretty sure a few of the birds followed us to the coast when we headed for our next stop, Cinque Terre. Though we visited many amazing places throughout Italy, seeing castles and sculptures and unforgettable pieces of history, we will always remember Venice for the pigeons.

3 comments:

Christine said...

Kierst,

I'm going to dive in there and address the obvious correlation between my maiden name and the subject line :) I'm glad you met my winged namesake and also that you didn't capitalize the post so people knew you were talking about the bird, not my family :)

Is Piazza San Marco not one of your new favorite places in the world????

I want to hear ALL about your Italian adventures. Can we make a date!?

Love!
Stine

Lauren said...

Haha Stine...when I saw the title of Kierstin's post I SERIOUSLY thought it was going to be about your family....capitalized "P" or not!! LOL, Lauren

amy said...

haha! i never knew our stine was named after a bird! i, too, was anxiously awaiting the reference to the piccione family! but all the same, i loved hearing that jeremy is a pigeon magnet! :-) i am glad you guys had a good trip!