09 Jun The Best Hospital I’ve Ever Seen in My Life: New Mestre Hospital, Venice, Italy
We were meant to have 3 days in Venice, but my friend came up in itchy, red lumps all over her body. Usually I would say they were mosquitoes, but there were no mozzies around and they kept appearing, even whilst we were on the train. Chicken pox? Had it. Meningitis? Not feeling sick. Bedbugs? Not likely…we’d been staying in the same room for a week without any problem and I had not a bite on me.
Whether they were bed bugs, mozzies or flesh eating critters who knows, but they were getting worse so she wanted to make sure she wasn’t being eaten alive.
Mestre is choc-a-block with traffic and rather ugly- in fact it’s the complete opposite of the Venice- so we weren’t expecting much from the hospital. I’ve been to quite a few foreign hospitals both accompanying friends and as a patient, and they’ve usually been pretty so-so.
We had to take a couple of buses which seemed to be taking us onto the motorway and into the middle of nowhere. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the building above on the horizon!
From the outside it looked like and Olympic Stadium, from the inside it looked like a shopping mall crossed with an art gallery. I’m not a fan of hospital food, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that is, but I seriously had the best lunch of my trip here. Since there was a long wait in A&E, we decided to pop to the cafe, and it really was something lese. Fresh bruschetta with tomatoes and balsamic, freshly squeezed juices in jugs on the counter, gourmet chocolates and delicate pastries…I wanted to eat it all. The hospital even had a tropical garden in the lobby, a shop selling designer sunglasses and a fine dining restaurant.
In case you’re wondering, it turned out my friend had an allergic reaction to an insect bite so she got an injection and we were good to go.
Looking at the Italian sense of style, maybe it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this hospital looked like a swanky hotel. If you’re going to get sick abroad, do it in Venice!
Outside photo by Alex ’77 on flickr