Day 4 – A Tour on the Venetian Canals

Venezia, Italy

Sunday, our last day in Venice, was a day to just relax and enjoy the not so touristy parts of the city – even though we were taking a tour.

We started off with a good breakfast at the hotel and then went up to the room to finish charging every electronic gadget we brought with. Then, powered up, we headed over to San Marco’s Square to meet with the tour group.

The vaporetto ride over was jam packed. We got on early and it was pretty full, but each stop added more people. Two would get off and four would get on. We finally got a little breathing room at the Rialto Bridge where many exited. Just a few more minutes and we were at St Mark’s.

Lots and lots of people were out today. There were four cruise ships in port, day trippers by train and even a few Venetians wandering the square.

We booked a tour with the folks at ‘Walks of Italy’ to cruise the canals and to visit the island of St Giorgio. Our meeting spot was beneath the column of the winged lion. As it turned out, there were six of us on the tour, plus our guide Barbara. We had a boat waiting, so we were off right on time.

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Our Venice Guide – Barbara

Barbara was fantastic. She is a “real Venetian” and shared her knowledge of the city and her wit as we cruised around. Our boat mates were all pleasant and we had lots of laughs as we drifted along. You don’t really zoom along because the speed limit is only 5 mph. That keeps the wakes small and the erosion to a minimum.

Some of the sights we saw were a gondola workshop, the local hospital, a very old bookshop, some quaint little bridges, and the jewish ghetto. After turning onto the Grand Canal, we saw the Venice Casino, a couple museums, the old red light district, the fish market, some grand hotels and some nice residential homes.

Our final stop was at the island of San Giorgio. It lies directly across from San Marcos and provides incredible views from the top of the bell tower. Since you all know us, yes, there was an elevator or you would have seen pictures from the shoreline.

Venice has a rich history and we learned a little bit more on the tour.

We made our way back to the hotel and checked for a place to have dinner. We found a place that had good reviews and was pretty close by the hotel. It’s called Al Bacco Felice – The Laughing Bacchus and it was just what we were looking for.

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It was on a small side street, is just a small family run restaurant and had great food. As the evening skies turned dark, it became a nice, romantic dinner. We even had a strolling accordion player pass by. I felt like I was in Italy – oh wait, nevermind.

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We started with our prosecco, as always, and both had a pasta dish and then we shared one of their fabulous pizzas with a liter of house red wine. Our server, who is also one of the owners, was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. Can’t be positive, but we think we were the only non-locals dining. At the end, we made a point of saying goodbye to him as he was inside and he poured us a glass of limoncello to digest. Highly recommended, great food and extremely reasonable pricing.

A lovely stroll back to the hotel to relax. Tomorrow we leave Venice.

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