We had a very interesting walking tour around St. Mark's Cathedral Square and some of the walkways of Venice. Interesting stories about St. Mark's history an the fact the two merchants from Venice went to Egypt eight centuries after his death and they stole his bones. They put the remains in a basket and covered it in pork. The Muslim guards in Egypt did not want to inspect the basket due to their religious beliefs - no pork. Quite the clever Venetian lads, and they got away with St. Mark's bones! More info. here.
For lunch our group decided on authentic thin crust Italian pizza and enjoyed good food and good laughs... and a chance to rest our tired feet. The FitBit step count was around 7000 at that point! We headed to the Doge's Palace for an inside look at how the leaders of Venice lived.... from what we could see... they lived very well. Beautifully ornate wood and marble carvings, statues, tapestries and hand painting ceilings. We also went in the prison attached to the palace. Over Bridge of Sighs (photos taken through the small holes that prisoners could see through as they walked to their judgement - hence the name, Bridge of Sighs. Absolutely amazing. For more info. click here.
Mrs. Baker and I were very impressed by the girls' interest, knowledge and their ability to appreciate the history that we were experiencing.
And of course, it just isn't Venice without going on a gondola ride!!! We boarded a gondola and traveled the surprisingly crowded waterways. Lots of tourists equals hundreds of gondolas but there were also many service boats taking supplies to businesses along the canals. We even experienced some "canal rage" as some of the gondoliers didn't like the way the other guys were steering. Some of the boats also had singing gondoliers. Quite entertaining! It really is an amazing opportunity to experience what we have read and heard about Venice throughout our lifetimes. We can now check that off our "to do list."
An afternoon gelato capped off another very busy day. The bus ride back to the hotel was quite quiet as many caught up on sorely missed sleep. Dinner at the hotel was pasta in a tomato sauce, followed by turkey and vegetables. And then a torte filled with Nutella. We are not going hungry and we are drinking lots of water to manage the 35C temperatures.