It turned out that SNCF (the French train system) decided to support the anti-CPE protestors by going on strike beginning yesterday, the day of our departure by train to Venice ! We knew the French trains would not be running, and that we wouldn’t be able to take the train from Antibes to Nice to catch our Italian train, but we were surprised when our friends dropped us off at the Nice station, and we found that not even the international trains were running. Fortunately, SNCF put us on a bus and took us on a nightmarish ride over to Ventimiglia, Italy, to catch our Italian train. We’re lucky to live so close to Italy - it took less than 30 minutes by autoroute. So, a potential catastrophe was averted once we stepped off the bus, met up with our train, and settled into our private compartment for the overnight trip.
After being rocked to sleep with the motion of the train, we were in good form for our arrival into the Santa Lucia train station in Venice around 8:00am, and were able to check our bags at the train station for the day. It was nice strolling around a very peaceful Venice, and watching the morning markets setting up their wares.