Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gondola! Venice! Need I Say More?

Today was my favorite day.

We got into Venice right on time to experience Acqua Alta or "High Water", the flooding that occurs in the winter months in Venice due to high tides.

I was prepared and had brought along galoshes, unfortunately they are kid's galoshes (I have small feet and children's shoes are cheaper which I sometimes take advantage of).  So, they were too short for the peak of Acqua Alta and I very nearly got wet feet on the side streets.

It was an experience.  And one that if you have never experienced yet, you never will.  Venice is building flood gates to prevent feature flooding that will be in place by the end of 2015.  In the meantime the Venetians cope by walking around on risers wearing gumboots or full waders.

After a little tromping around in the water we headed to a Murano glass factory to watch a glass blowing demonstration.  It was pretty amazing watching this guy whip out a vase and a horse in under 10 minutes like it was a piece of cake.  I imagine glass blowing is a lot like the pottery wheel - it looks easy but is a complete disaster for the rest of us (most of us).

We then saw the Basilica of St. Mark - flooded and under restoration but still beautiful

We did a little touring around St. Mark's square and near vicinity

And then went for a ride in a gondola

It was amazing.  I had that big dopey smile on my face the whole ride.  Riding in a gondola in Venice was pretty much the whole point of the trip for me.  One item on my bucket list checked off.

As if that was not enough experience for one day.  After our gondola ride it was back on the bus to head to Florence.  As we made our way we stared into the rolling hills of Tuscany.  It was so beautiful I am very sad that I wasn't able to get any good pictures from the bus. 

We wrapped up the day with a tour of Machiavelli's house and winery followed by a fantastic dinner.

I don't think this day will be beat for a long, long time.

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