Yesterday was our big day out in Venice, and it was a scorcher! It was so sunny, I couldn’t see what I was taking pictures of, so the pictures below aren’t the best. We started out with a walking tour from a local guide. Apparently there are strict laws in Italy about who can give tours, and our group leader is not allowed to, hence the local guide. Our guide was very colorful and entertaining. I was impressed with how she seemed to know every nook and cranny of Venice like the back of her hand.
After the tour was over, we had a lot of free time. I had lunch with a couple of Australian girls at a restaurant by the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge. We looked in some shops afterward. We crossed paths with another group of ladies from our trip, and I was the only person who wanted to go inside any of the historical places. Literally everyone else just wanted to go shopping! Everyone knows that I like shopping, but come on! We are only in this incredible place for a short time, and you want to spend it shopping??? I felt a little bad ditching them, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
I spent the rest of my free time going inside St Mark’s Basilica, the bell tower, and Doge’s Palace. I wish I had started out with Doge’s Palace because I would have spent more time there. I ended up really rushing through it so that I would be on time to meet the group for our gondola rides.
Our gondolier was named Marcello. At one point near the end of the ride, he saw a friend of his who was on a motor boat. The friend came over on his boat, and it turned out he had a tiny chihuahua aboard. He handed the dog to Marcello who proceeded to talk to it in a baby voice. It was hilarious to see this tan, muscled, tattooed Italian guy speaking to a tiny chihuahua in a baby voice! After the gondola ride, we had dinner at a restaurant in the middle of Venice where the food kept coming nonstop for two hours while a couple of guys played accordions.
Overall, I had a good time in Venice, but I’m not sure I would come back. The place is completely overrun by tourists. When I was at the top of the bell tower, I squinted my eyes looking over St Mark’s Square and imagined what it was like hundreds of years ago with people walking about wearing masks. Now it is full of loud tourists and overflowing garbage cans. . . sigh.