Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jina's Venice Videos: My Private Boat Taxi to Hotel Saturnia

I'm homesick. For Italy.

Three of of my Harlequin Spice books have been released or reissued in the past few weeks in Italy--

--making me pine for everything Italian from Puccini to pizza.

So to assuage my longing to take a trip to Italy (that's me in the picture above in my room in Venice), I'm doing the next best thing.

I'm taking a trip down video memory lane.

So here are two videos in a series of videos I made about my trip to Venice where I had the opportunity to speak about geisha and perform Japanese dance at La Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious cultural arts festival in the world.

First video...I started out in at Los Angeles International Airport, flew to Paris, then changed planes and on to Venice. There was a baggage handlers’ strike in Paris that day so my plane was late leaving LAX.

Fortunately for me, the Air France agent in LA, Fernando, changed my connecting flight to Venice for a later time and I made it to Venice with all my baggage intact. I was so relieved because my Japanese costume that I wore for La Biennale was in my packed bag.

My Italian bodyguard, Enrico Dal Bianco, met me at the Marco Polo Airport. He was tall, charming and made sure I got to my hotel in my own private boat taxi…

Second video: We boarded my private boat taxi to Hotel Saturnia and we were off. (I had two big suitcases with me--I held my breath when the taxi driver tossed them into the boat, praying they wouldn't land in the canal.)

It was close to sundown (I had been traveling since mid-afternoon the day before when I left Los Angeles), the air was cool and refreshing…

Believe me, there’s nothing like a wild boat ride to beat jet lag.

It was exhilarating.

And what an experience.

Riding up and down the canals on a warm summer night, the water lapping at the sides of the boat, the night lights popping on and lighting up the ancient buildings as we made our way to my hotel. I’ll never forget it.

So here is my wild taxi ride through the canals of Venice!

Ciao, ciao,



Michelle Polaris said...

Jina--You made me miss Venice. I only went once on my honeymoon, but it was a surprise destination so even more romantic. Where exactly do you sign up to get a bodyguard? I'm in the market for booking one for my next overseas adventure.

Wynter said...

I miss it too! What a totally unique place. I was there as a child but I remember be enthralled with all of Italy, but particularly Venice. Thanks for sharing that and congratulations on the Italian releases.

Jina Bacarr said...

Michelle, I was invited to Venice as a guest of La Biennale! They arranged for everything, even the bodyguard. He made sure I got to my hotel and back again to the airport. It was an amazing trip as you'll see in upcoming episodes.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thankz, Wynter, it's been crazy with the release of Blonde Samurai in Italian and the re-release of my books in Italian. The Italians love to read and I have an episode coming up about all the bookstores in Venice.

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm totally jealous. Venice is one place I would absolutely LOVE to visit.

Jina Bacarr said...

Dalton, you'll have the opportunity to visit Venice with me! Next week, I'll take you on a tour of my fabulous room at the Hotel Saturnia and you'll also have breakfast with me in the open air courtyard.

And wait until you see the "waterfall" shower in my bathroom. Come back next week for more of my Venice summer tour!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Jina!
I'm late but I had to comment. My husband, sister, her husband and I were talking about planning a trip overseas. Out of all the back and forth, name-calling, banter, etc, we agreed on two places: Greece and Italy...namely Rome and Venice. Looking at your videos I'm sooo rooting for Venice! What wonderful footage! Thank you for sharing!!

Jina Bacarr said...

Naima, you have to go to Venice!! Since it's summer vacay time, I thought it would be fun to post my Venice Video series.

As I mentioned, next up is my hotel room, but we'll also be visiting bookstores, gelati, boutiques, etc.

Savannah Stuart said...

I've only been to Rome but I'd love to see the rest of the country! Can't wait to see your next post on Italy :)

Jina Bacarr said...

Ah, Roma!! Another favorite place of mine, Savannah! It's fascinating to see how ancient Rome (the Roman Forum, e.g.) exists side by side with modern Rome and its exquisite fashion shops, etc. Glad you're enjoying the series!