I went on a trip this past weekend to visit Venice, Italy. It was a 2 day 1 night trip, and I must say that it was a great bargain. The hotel that I stayed in was very modern and the tour guide had over 20 years experience. He had a plethora of small facts that had I gone solo I would never have been told. All in all it was very refreshing, although I must say that it took a toll on my calf muscles. The walking is not for the faint at heart. There are cobble stone streets and many, many, bridges to go over to see the whole of the city. This fact was brought to home by a wheelchair bound tourist who came along with my tour group. There is one money pit to be aware of before heading to Venice. The much publicized gondola, a hallmark of Venice, is a bit on the expensive side. I am not sure how far you go down the canal but the prices range from 80 euro to over 100 euro, depending on the size of the group. Of course you can do like me and life vicariously through those with deep pockets by videoing their journey. I even took a pic with one of the men in the hat and striped shirt for my memories. It will at least hold me over until I find a rich beau who can front the bill. Just kidding.
The price of the trip including the bus ride and the guide was about 450 kuna. I had the privilege of hanging with an older couple(at least 70’s or 80’s) who kept praising the deal of such an opportunity because of the knowledge of the private guide and the ease of which he navigated the streets of Venice, Burano, and Torcello. It is my belief that they were world travelers so if they said it was a good thing, I believed them. From the guide I learned a little more than I had bargained for. He spoke of the symbol of Venice, the lion with wings and a book, and when it is open this means peace, and when closed, someone is at war. Also, I never knew that there was a world renowned mask carnival in Venice every February. I had only made connection with these sort of masks down in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was quite refreshing to see similar customs so far between.
As stated above, the tour included both the Burano (known for its colorful aesthetics and knit loving grams) and Murano (home to the famous Murano glass company) islands, it also included Torcello, an island which formerly housed over 22, 000 inhabitants but now has dwindled to merely 12 families. Within it’s confounds is an ancient church with eerily haunting surroundings.