We made a memory… We actually made a bunch, but part of the day stands out in particular. Mostly because of near death experiences. But, I am not going to cut to the chase or skip over the rest of the day. You’ll have to read to the end to hear all about it.
We started this incredible day with breakfast and caffè. If you have never had Italian coffee, it is an experience in and of itself. I thought I would prefer caffè americano because it should be most like our filtered coffee back in the states, but I actually loved the espresso! It was just the pick me up I needed to start today.
We got on the bus and drove to the port where the ships dock. Amazing, beautiful ships were in port and it has settled for me the plans for our next vacation. I love cruising!
We took a water taxi over to the grand canal and arrived in Venice. It is amazing to walk on the same streets that Napoleon and Columbus and countless others have traveled on. Our tour guide, Esther, is quite the character. She is with us for the entire duration of the trip and she is an unending source of information.
Our first stop was St. Mark’s Basilica. Saint Mark wrote the second gospel and founded the Church of Alexandria. This basilica was built as a final resting place for St. Mark, one of the twelve apostles. His body was smuggled out of Alexandria after his death to prevent Muslims from mutilating his corpse. He was brought to his final resting place in Venice and a beautiful church was erected in his name.
We were given the opportunity to celebrate a private mass in the crypt of the basilica. It was incredibly moving and spiritual. Father Angelo, the retired priest traveling with our group, performed the service. He is an amazing priest and his message during the homily spoke volumes to all of us.
We toured the basilica and were given the back story on how the church used to be the Doge’s private worship center and only was opened to the public as a place of worship in the “recent history” which means in the last couple of centuries.
I was happily snapping away, when we were yelled at: “No photographia!” I felt terrible! Don’t tell anyone I shared these images with you!
Next was the Doge’s palace. It is beautiful and full of amazing artwork! Unfortunately, we were rushed through and pushed along to head to the next activity. But here are some of the pictures I took in the palace.
Then it was off to our wine tour. If you ever get the chance to visit Venice, I highly recommend the Venice Wine Tour!!! Our guide, David, is on his way to becoming a sommelier and was very informative about the local wines and what to pair up. Check him out if you make it there soon!
We traveled to 5 wine bars and had a glass of wine and tapas in each. It was delicious! We were served 3 red wines, 2 white wines, and 1 super syrupy dessert wine. I actually enjoyed one of the reds, which is completely out of the norm for me. Saluté!
We went to catch a bus back to our hotel but got off at the wrong stop. So we were hoofing it the rest of the way. Italians drive like they are on the Autobahn and we played Frogger trying to cross streets and make it back. There was a turn lane that I was crossing when a bus came flying around the corner… It is not a Perry family vacation if someone does not nearly lose their life. Then we had to go under the highway to get to the street our hotel is on. It was definitely sketchy! But, we made it safely back to the hotel and collapsed for the day! Buona notte!