|People in St. Mark's Plaza|
Everyone says that you don't need to know the language when you go to Europe, that "everyone" speaks English. That just seems rude to me. I saw this as an opportunity to expand my knowledge, and I'm glad I did it. Not everyone in Venice speaks English, and many that do have limited vocabularies. My hotel staff were pretty fluent, for instance, but they didn't know "Advil" (if I had said "ibuprofen," they would have gotten it, since the Italian is "ibuprofene"). The merchant in a paper shop in Dorsoduro didn't speak English. Even those that spoke English well were amused by my attempts to speak and tried to encourage me. I learned from the hotel staff to say "Vado fuori" when I was leaving and that I had to put the "cento" into my room number, "due cento settante sette."
Ultimately, Italian is a beautiful language that was a pleasure to speak. I wish I had another month there so that I could become more comfortable with it.