Venice, Italy and Cruise

Blog Post created by placestoseeandgo on Oct 31, 2017

100_2611.JPGI had booked a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines utilizing Marriott Destination Points which was embarking from the Port of Venice.  I then decided to take a travel package (utilizing Marriott Reward Points) to spend time and Venice.  The package I took allowed to us to stay at the JW Marriott on the (Island) Isola del Rose which is a 20 minute boat ride from St. Marks Square.  This is a beautiful hotel, but I did not get any upgrades. They allowed me Wi-Fi access in my room, but no other upgrades were offered.  Although, the shuttle service is very good and timely, you really have to build extra time when touring in Venice or having any scheduled activity in the main the area of Venice. Listed below is a day by day account of our vacation.  I hope you enjoy reading about our adventure and for those planning trips to this area that it might help in making your plans.


Monday -May 8th -
Left Boston to Newark and then Newark to Venice Italy. Utilizing a travel package I was able to book
business class over to Venice and (it does make a difference).


Tuesday – May 9th - Arrived in Marco Polo airport around 9:30 in the morning and proceeded to get our luggage. I had a
reservation on a public service boat (sort of like a Metro Train line) from the airport to San Marco (the main square). We just missed one boat and had to wait for about a half hour for the next.  The ride on the boat took about an hour and 20 minutes (it made several stops) and we arrived there around 1:00 pm.  We then had to take a shuttle boat to the J.W. Marriott (located on the Isola del Rose) and fortunately, the loading dock for this shuttle was very close to the public
boat docking area.  The shuttle to the J.W. Marriott took about 20 minutes and we got into room within an hour,
unpacked and headed back to San Marco. It was a beautiful day and we arrived in St. Mark’s Square and just
marveled at the building and all the people touring in the area. We decided to go into the Campanile (the bell tower) and you take an elevator to the top and get a great view of Venice and the surrounding area. We came down and walked
the St. Mark’s Square and decided to walk to the Rialto bridge. In Venice it is all walking or taking public boats and the city is divided into districts (sections).  We had a planned walking tour the next day and the meeting place was in the Cannaregio section near the Rialto bridge.  When walking in Venice you go in the direction of your desired location and bridges become your destination area.  Anyhow, we notice on buildings which has street names (more like alleys) along with signage to many of the main attraction that helps in navigating the city.  We made it easily to the Rialto and were able to find our meeting place for the next day. We decided to have a drink right at the bridge area, Heidi had an Aperol Spritz and I had a German beer and we begin talking with a couple of pilots that fly private planes for corporations.
Afterwards, we walked around the area and Bonnie (a friend) gave us the name of a restaurant near the bridge that she suggested. We found it and did have a nice dinner there, at Restaurante Sempione, near Ponte (bridge) del Barateri.  By now, it is nightfall, we have done a lot of traveling and we have to take the shuttle boat back to the J.W. Marriott. We
head back, without any difficulty, to San Marco and make our way to the boat dock.  We arrive back at the hotel area
and have a drink in the lounge area and head up to the room.


Wednesday May 10th- We get up and visit the concierge desk. We find an opera (The Barber of Seville) will be performing that evening in a Palace in Venice (Musica a Palazzo) and we purchased two tickets for the performance that evening.  We leave the hotel by the boat shuttle around 9:00 am and we get to San Marks square around 9:30. We stopped by the Doge’s Palace and we purchased admission for this Palace and the Correr. We head off toward our walking tour that begins at 11:00 am in the Cannaregio district (Campo SS Apostoli) and it is not too far from the Rialto Bridge. We get there in plenty of time and a number of other signups are showing up for the tour,including one of the pilots that we met last night. The tour starts in that district and ends up in Castello district.  As the description of this
tour indicated it is a tour that covers many Venice topics other than San Marco.  When you walk around Venice, you
are walking on many alleyways and the entire city is a maze.  We had such a wonderful tour. Mary was knowledgeable about the city. You get to learn about history that you won't get on the normal tours. We especially loved going down
the back streets to places we never would have found to learn things I never would have known. The tour ended in Castello at the armory. Mary (Maria Laura) provided through her tour a great map with suggested restaurants and shops to visit. Her main suggestion about restaurants was to avoid restaurant with pictures and promotion people inviting you to come into their restaurant. The district where our tour ended was the location for the Biennale (worldwide art
exhibitions) that would be opened to the general public that Saturday. We did walk over there to inquire about it, but did not buy any tickets. Afterwards, we walked back to San Marks square.  We take the shuttle boat back to the J.W. Marriott as we have the opera performance that evening.  It turned out to be a real nice day and we go up to the roof top pool in the hotel and just enjoy the remainder of the afternoon. 
Heidi looked over the Rick Sleeve’s Venice book and found these little sandwich shops near San Marco Square.  As we arrived, we head toward the Castello region and you are supposed to go the “Bridge of Sigh” which actually is located the Doge’s Palace. Shortly after crossing a bridge that
corresponds to the Bridge of Sigh, we take a left up an alleyway and do come across this restaurant mentioned in his book. Basically, it is deli style sandwiches in a very relaxed setting.  As we sit there eating our dinner, we notice
that this deli is frequented by many Gondola rowers. They come in (did not see them eating very much) but they were having beer or wine and seem to know the restaurant employees very well.  After dinner, we had back toward San Marco square and we are heading toward the Academia Bridge as our Opera performance is in that direction.  We meander down many alleys and come into several Piazzas and not quite sure where this performance will take place. We stopped in a hotel in one of the Piazzas and the hotel employee was very nice and told us we were very close. Shortly thereafter, we see signage for
(Musica a Palazzo) and finally figure out the entrance way.  Heidi waits and other patrons start arriving. In the meantime, I take a short walk and get a gelato and make my way back to the entrance. Around 8:00 pm, they open the gate and we have to wait in a foyer until the cast is ready.  There were 3 acts to the performance and each one in performed in a different room of this Palace.  After the 1st act, they served some wine, champagne and I believe some soft drinks. The performance was very good and this venue was really unique.
The Opera ended around 10:00 pm and we had back to the shuttle boat pier.  We missed the 10:30 shuttle and a representative from the Marriott were sending patrons to a different pier for the next shuttle. Apparently, the tides were very high and it makes more difficult to navigate in the current pier area. Anyhow, the other pier is very close by and we get the next shuttle back to the hotel.


Thursday May 11th-  Weather for today is supposed to be cool and cloudy and we decide to go to the Guggenheim museum. It is located in the Dosoduro section of Venice and to get there we have to head to the Academia
bridge.  Heidi had read about a Vivaldi (violin performance) violin performance at a church that is on the way and near the bridge.  It is the same way that we went to opera and we find the church and inquire about performances.  We decide to purchase the Friday evening performance. We now head over the Academia Bridge and we find signage to the Guggenheim museum.  We enter the museum and there was a special exhibit of an artist by the name of Mark Tobey.  We walk through that exhibit and the regular exhibit area.  After spending about 2 hours there, we find a restaurant suggested in the Rick Sleeve’s tour book. To get there we follow his directions and we find it (pure luck) and we have nice lunch.  Heidi had an antipasto salad (lot of Italian deli) and I had cannelloni. While sitting there, we talk to a couple of American girls that were in Venice for the Biennale (Contemporary Art Exhibition). One of them had lived in Venice right above or near the restaurant we were having lunch at and provided some suggestion on what to do and a restaurant near the Rialto bridge.  After lunch, we headed back to San Marks square. The weather was improving and we decided to go to the Correr Museum. Prior to entering there, we found an art gallery exhibition (affiliated with the Biennale) that did famous landmarks and people by utilizing earth elements like dirt and shrubs.  It was actually pretty interesting and the landmarks and people  are very recognizable. We go to the Correr museum which offers a fascinating insight into the art and history of Venice.  We spent the remaining part of the afternoon there and when we finish we go back to the hotel.  Back at the hotel, we take a walk around the grounds where they have villas, a spa, a 5 star restuarant and olive trees and its own church.  We inquire about eating there and we go back to our room and clean up. We decide to eat down in the lobby bar/restaurant. The maitre’d was very hospitable and we have real nice dinner and a very pleasant evening. We had been go for the last 5 days and this was an opportunity to just relax and zone out.


Friday May12th – Today we got the shuttle boat to San Marks square and walked toward the Rialto Bridge.  Heidi wanted to see the fish and produce markets that are open over there.  We walked around there for a while and then headed back over the bridge into the Cannaregio District as we were going to the Jewish Getto.  We are walking in the direction of the ghetto and following the signs and we see a sign that says Jewish Singota.  We follow the sign and it brings us into Campo del Ghetto Novo.  We purchase tour tickets and take the tour.  There were actually 4 synagogues located in this area. Services are still conducted in three and there are about 50 members. After the tour, we talked with an Indian Couple who live in Dallas. The young woman was a pedatrician and the young fellow was a engineer that was getting his MBA as well.  Very nice couple and we explained to them some of the dietary laws.  Heidi got information from the tour guide the other day (free walking tour) that taking a Gondola ride in the Jewish district is recommended. The thought process is that it is less crowded and the tour will be more enjoyable.  As we are walking around, we cross a bridge and a Gondola rower is talking with some people. Heidi starts talking with him (she excuses herself for any interruption) and inquires about a group tour. The Gondola rower expresses interest and tells the other couple. We all agree and we are very happy as this will reduce each couples cost to about 28 Euros (30 dollars).  It was a very enjoyable ride up many of the side canals in Venice and our Gondola driver provided very good narrative of the area.  After the Gondola ride, we had back San Marks square and go to the Doge’s Palace. The Doge’s Palace was the home of the Venetian ruler,who was elected by other wealthy ariscrats of Venice. We get the audio tour guide headset and we both enjoyed this tour.  After the tour it is around 5:00 pm and we realize we need to get back to the hotel and change. We literally get back around 6:00 pm.  We immediately go up to our room and clean up and get the 6:30 shuttle back to San Marks Square.  We get there around 7:00 and we walk to Campo S. Stefano (righr near the church for the Vivaldi performance, We find a sandwich deli restaurant and have our dinner there. From there we walk to the Chuch for the performance and it is great (I highly recommend it). It last about an hour and half.and we take the 10:30 shuttle back to the hotel. We arrive back to have some beer/wine in lobby bar and they are kind enough to allow us to have some food as well. 


Saturday May 13th – Our last day Venice before we leave on our cruise. We decide to take a tour of Murano, Burano and Torcello. We are on the 12:30 tour and it will take about 4 hours.  We leave to go to Murano where they make
Murano glass. The factories were moved out Venice to protect against possible fires.. We arrive about 45 minutes later and immediately see a demonnstration of sculpturing glass.  Afterwards, we browse their collection and needless to say they are trying to sell their wares.  The island is low key compared to the main Venice area and it is real nice for touring the area.  We walk around (about 40 minutes) and take some nice pictures.  We get back on the tour boat for our next stop on the island of Burano. It is about a 20 minutes to this island and its known for hand made lacemakings.  Also, low key, we walked around the area and I take a picture of a seamstress stiching some lace.  On this island is another Bell Tower that has a definite slant, much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Also, I notice a gas station for the many boats that need gas and I found the setup interesting.  An interesting sidenote is that if the final process (in this case stich) is completed in Italy, the product can say made in Italy. Finally, we are off to Torcello, another 15 to 20 minutes.  This island is just place to get away from the main city of Venice. Once again, the weather is good and we enjoy strolling around.  We get back to Venice around 5 pm and that morning the concierge made a 7:30 reservation for us at Taverna al Remer.  We hop on the next shuttle and go up to the room to shower.  We get the 6:30 shuttle back to Venice and arrive around 7:00 pm. We know the resturant is near the Rialto bridge and we head that way.  Actually it continues on towards our meeting place for the walking tour that we took. I notice as we head up that way that one of alley signs says Remer and we take it and the restuarant is at the very end.  We go in and our reservation is found and we are seated at a table near the doorway, but is crowded with a lot of people near the table which is right near the bar.  The hostess asked if we want to sit in a different location and we say yes and re-sits us away from the door, but near where a band is going to play music in an hour. We agree and shortly afterwards two women join our table. We end up talking with them and we find out they are mother and daugther from Perth,Australia.  We share stories of our travels and have real nice time with them and a nice dinner as well.


Sunday May 14th - We check out of the J.W. Marriott around 11:30 and our luggage was brought down to the boat
pier.  We make it over to Venice and we find the ticket office for the boat to the cruise terminal.  We get the next boat and fortunately it is only one stop to the cruise terminal. We follow the sign for the the Norweigan cruise
terminal so that we can go through security and check in.  This process takes us well over an hour, but we finally make it through and are able to get the Norweigan Star Cruise Ship. We make it to our cabin (located on the 11th deck, right near the stairs in mid-deck). This is great location as most of the time we are walking to the 12th deck with buffet, pool and fitness center are located.  Mandatory safety drill at 5:00 pm and we met a couple (Carol and John) and started talking about this cruise and why they took it (destinations).  We decided to dine with them at the Versailles restaurant.
The ship left Venice around 5:30 and tug boats guided the ship out of port.  It was a nice evening and great views looking at out at Venice. We met Carol and John around 8:30. We had gone downstair and put our names in for a table of 4. We had sat down and about 10 minutes later they arrived.  We had a real nice time and made plans to dine with them at some of the specialty restuarant that we both had in our packages. 


Monday May 15th – Our first port stop was Kotor, Montenegro. We had signed up for biking tour around Boka Bay.  We are at sea for the morning and we have breakfast on our own. That morning, I go to the fitness center and Heidi walks
around on the ship. We arrive in Kotor around 1:00 pm. We have a shore excursion called "Cycling around Boka Bay". Our meeting location for each excursion is the Stardust Theater (on the Cruise Ship) where they call each group to start the process of leaving the ship and meeting your guides.  We meet our guide and our group consist of about 20 cyclist and walk along the bay for abot ¼ mile to the location where the bikes are located.    We mount up on our bikes and head off riding right along the Bay.  Our ride on this road is level and the up and downs are few and not very taxing. As we are riding, our guide will have us stop for some picture taking and provide some history about the home we are seeing and the area. About 3 miles in, we stop at restuarnat and have a picturesque view of the bay.  We talk with some of the other riders and it is turning out to be a real plesant day. After our stop, we continue on and we are seeing folks that live in the area that are fishing, some taking a swim and just admiring the beauty and quietness of this area. Kotor is a coastal town in Montengro with a permenant population of 14,000 and the enire populaton of Montengro is about 650,000.  The cruise ship entered from the Adriatic Sea and the ride into the Bay has similarites to entering fjords in Norway.  We ride out another 4 miles and come to end of of the bay where the ships would enter from the sea.  At this point, I realized I left our backpack back at the resturant. I ask our guide if he can call the restuarant (not having any success) and I decide to head back to the restuarant. I tell the guide that I will wait for them to return restaurant and
rejoin the group.  I take off and it is a good ½ hour ride back to the restuarant and I arrive and I am greeted by some
of the wait staff and they knew I was looking for the backpack which they had. Relieved, I sit down and have a coke and just enjoy the surroundings as I wait for the group to reurn. About a half hour later the group arrives and stop for
a few minutes. We then head back to starting point. The total trip was about 14 miles.  Our guide walks us back to the
pier and we have a couple of hours before we need to get back on the ship. We head over to the Old Town which is very walkable area of shops, restuarants and churches. It is really is nice town and we are just enjoying meadering around
the area. We decide to have a beer and we find a pub (called the Old Town Pub) and we sit outside to have a beer. We had a local beer (it reminded of beer we had in Germany) in a a mug and the waitress (a young woman) was very nice and we talked with her. While sitting there, a British Couple sits at the next table and they were just married (it looked like they were in late 30’s or early 40’s) and we have fun time talking with them. We finish our beer (feeling good) and we head back to the ship.  That evening it was fish night at the market buffet and we just decided to find some dish there. Heidi had some kind of Cod and I had Shrimp cocktail. Neither of us liked our selection. 


Tuesday May 16th – Our stop was the Greek Island of Corfu.  We arrived into the port around 10:00 am and our departure was for 4:00 pm.  We signed up for the Scenic Corfu and Island View. We got off the ship and were greeted by our tour guide to hop on one of the waiting buses.  It is gray outside and threat of rain is present.  We take
off and we ride by the Old City of Corfu and we see various fortifications used by the Venetians to fend off invasion by the Ottoman Empire into the Adriatic Sea. As we drive our tour guide points out some the beautiful scenic points and
if there is any significant historical importantance.   Corfu,like most islands, was formed by Volcano activity and we climb up many hairpin turns in a big bus.  Many of these roads only can one vehicle at time. One of our stops was at a the Mavromatis kumquat distillery.  We purchased some of the liquors and sweets.  After that stop, we continued on this narrow road and stopped at a restaurant for a break. It was located at the top of the road where you can take great pictures, unfortunately it was raining out and the views were not quite as spectacular. We board the bus and then head back to the ship.  If was still raining when we got back and we just reboard the ship.  That evening we had dinner at the French restaurant on the ship with John and Carol.  ( I wish we just toured the old city instead of taking this tour, the weather probably influenced my comment).


Wednesday May 17th – We arrive in Santorini around 1:00 pm and have to be back on shop by 9:00 pm.  This day we have tender from the ship to shore and we do so around   2:30 pm. Our original shore excursion was a 4x4 jeep tour around the island. Unfortunetaly, there was enough participation and it was cancelled. We settled on a Volcano walking tour. This tour was very good! We were collected from the ship and taken to the port where we boarded a 'pirate ship'
which took us out to the volcano. The tour guide was knowledgeable and she went at the pace of the group that was comfortable.  The volcano was a hike. If you have any mobility problems, this is NOT the tour for you. Comfortable shoes (with thick soles: the paths are made up of loose volcanic gravelly rock ~slippery~ that can be sharp to stand on at times).  We walked up (it is about a mile to the top nd we had 3 stops with great views at each level. Once we reached the top, there were several places to walk around and soak up the stunning view.  We returned to the bottom and the pirate ship took us to the smaller of the central volcanic island where it moored near the thermal springs. To access the springs, we had to swim from the ship (approx.150 yards). The current isn't particularly strong but you need to be confident that you can swim to and from the ship without assistance. Not everyone took the plunge, but I decided to do it and made and forth without any real trouble. Fortunately, I took advantage of the different swimming strokes I know and utilized them all. The springs are rusty brown in color and do stain clothing. This should wash out if you rinse out your suit right away. I had a change of clothes and I just threw the bath suit away. We returned to the Old Port and were able to spend a few hours in Fira town (NB. the cable car to Fira is NOT included in this tour and is four euro per
person each way OR five euro for a donkey OR free to walk up the cliff path, which takes approximately 30-40 minutes). We took the Cable Car (not a favorite means of transportation for Heidi) and walked around the town. I should point
out that the there aren’t any homes in the port area and it just a small area for businesses. The shops, restaurants and homes are at the top of this island.   When you are in this area you just meander around. There are many alleys and at times you feel like you are in maze.  After walking around for about an hour, we decided to get a bite to eat. We found this restaurant called Parathiri and we share Hummus made from barley beans. I got a Santorini Greek salad and Heidi
got grilled Octopus salad. We a had beer (I think it was German) and our waiter was very nice helpful. We were able to use their Wi-Fi and catch up on our emails.  The weather was great, sitting outside at the restaurant was very enjoyable and capped off a really nice day.  We strolled back to the Cable Car, took some pictures looking down at the water and made it back to the Cable Car platform. The ride up and down is only about 5 minutes and we made it back down
in time to take the tender back to the ship. We made our way down to a lounge area and had a drink with Carol
John.   The ship left port around 10:00 pm and we are on to Mykonos.


Thursday May 18th – We arrive in Mykonos around 7:00am and go to the meeting place for the shore excursion at 8:00 am.  Our tour is called and we had to shore where we get a boat to the island of Delos which is the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. We arrive on the island and our tour guide begins to describe the island and significance of Greek artifacts.
It is a nice tour and it last 3 hours, but the unfortunately for us it is more Greek ruins. Having been to Athens. Olympia and Delphi, we have seen enough Greek ruins and the stories are interesting, but they have similarities.  After the tour is over, there is a museum of additional ruins which we meander through and then head back to the boat for the return to the island of Mykonos.  We arrive back at the island and we have a couple of hours to walk around the port and city area.  Like the other towns that we have visited, the alleys are setup like a like a maze. This was to confuse the would be invaders from having easy access to the village and help protect the residents from mass invasions and destruction.  One of the sites that we head to are the light houses that reside right near the town. We go visit them and the area is beautiful. Heidi heard there is street (alley) that has many upscale stores and we walk around and do find it.  After a few minutes, we decide to find a restaurant for a light lunch where we had Greek Salads and hummus and a Greek
beer.  It was nice, it was better in Santorini, and we are able to get caught up with emails and text messages with
the WI-FI available at the restaurant. We had back to the ship around 3:00 pm.  That evening, we have reservation on
the Ship at the Brazilian Steak house restaurant. Carol and John join us and we have a lot of fun and a lot of Steak and other meats and chicken.  We even have them make some special steak as some of the servings are very rare.  Like
the evening we were at the French Restaurant, we were one of the last patrons in the restaurant. 


Friday May 19th – Today is a day at sea. We are thankful for the day at sea as each day previously we had some shore excursion that required us (to be ready early in the morning) and today, we can just lounge around.  Heidi went up to the
lounging (sun) deck to find a couple of chairs. I worked out at the fitness center and looked for Heidi afterwards.
They were having special Barbecue Grilling right near the pool area, steak and chicken etc.  I found Heidi and
we sat near some people we met and talked with on previous tours.  We moved around a few times as certain areas
were very windy and others were more calm.  Our 4 by 4 excursion that was canceled provided to us some additional
credit, so we contacted John and Carol and made plans to join them at the Italian Restaurant that evening.  During
the afternoon, we each had a cocktail and just enjoyed relaxing and not running around.  We met John and Carol at the
restaurant (they suggested making reservation at these restaurants, but the restaurants were never filled to seating capacity) and we had a nice evening.  The Italian restaurant was somewhat disappointing. The sauce reminded me of Franco-American Spaghetti in a can.  Afterwards, we went out into the lounge area and Carol and John introduced us to friends they had made in one of the ports that they had toured together.

Saturday May 20th =– last day of the cruise and our last shore excursion.  We arrive in Dubrovnik, Croatia around 6:00
am.  Our meeting time, is 7:30 am and we head down to meet our tour guide. We board a bus to go to the Cable Car and Walking tour of the old city.
The best views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area are, without doubt, experienced from the top of the Srd Hill. The Dubrovnik Cable Car was built back in 1969 and was enthusiastically used by millions of visitors who wanted to enjoy the most beautiful panoramic views. On a clear day, you can see up to 60 km (37 miles).
For this reason, the neighboring Imperial Fortress was strategically built on this privileged spot, back in the early 19th century
. This fortress is still active today and was a major military installation during the Civil War in the 1990’s. Our tour guide was a young child when she and her family were displaced during this war, but managed to make it back about a year after they left. After walking around the area, we board the cable car for the trip down. Once down there, we head over to the Old City. Our tour guide gives up a short tour of this walled city.  Our tour began at one of the entrances to the city and lasted about an hour. We learned about the rich and amazing history of Dubrovnik. Strolling down the Placa street you will learn about this ancient city starting from its very beginnings. You will learn about the way it used to
be and the way it is now. Among the featured themes of the tour are the following;

- Dubrovnik before and after the Great Earthquake of 1667

- St. Blaise Church

- Rector's Palace

- The Cathedral

- Sponza Palace

- The Old harbor

- The City Walls

- The story of Orlando column

- Water supply system and the Onofrio's fountains

- Francisian and Dominican monastery


After the tour, we walked around for about an hour. We visited the Jewish Synagogue and like many European cities, the were many alleys that appear to be maze like.  We were to meet our tour guide back outside the walled gates for our ride back to the ship.  Wish we had a few hours to walk around.  Got back to the ship around noon time and we left port around 1:00 pm. We went up to the pool deck and found some lounge chairs to relax. The sun was in and out during much of the afternoon.   It was quite crowded and there was a lot activity on the pool deck.  That evening, we had reservations at Cagney’s steak house on the ship.  I liked the steak house, but Heidi thought it was salty. Afterwards, John and Carol came up and we had a cocktail in the Brazilian Steakhouse lounge.  John and Carol had made arrangements for a driver to pick them up at the dock on Sunday and drive them to the airport. We are staying at a Marriott Courtyard and it  is less than a mile away and we asked if we could join them.  They said yes. We both got tags to get off the ship around 8:00 am.


Sunday - May 21st – We meet Carol and John (they were 4 cabins down from us on the 11th Deck) and make our way to disembark from the ship. All is smooth and we find our respective luggage and make our way out of the terminal and find their limo driver.  They had an arranged price to the airport and it was extra 10 euros to take us to the hotel. Went to airport, said good bye and drove onto the hotel. Checked in and our room was available and get instructions on how to get into Venice.  The bus stop was right accross and we got the last stop Piazzale Roma. As you look at a map of Venice this location is in the northwestern part of the city. We walk over the bridge into the Santa Croce district as Heidi
wanted to visit the La Perla Nera which sells Murano glass.  The great thing about Venice is just strolling around the city and finding unusual buildings and unusual sights. As long as you find a sign that says a certain bridge or district you can find your way. Anyhow, Heidi had a read about an artistic sight on the Grand Canal in which two giant hands sprang up from the river. As we walking along and peaking down various alleys, we say these hands.  We walked down several alleys untill we come to an area that has a direct view. 
Afterwards, we try finding Le Perla Nera and we find it.  Heidi goes into the store and buys three set of earring for the girls. We then decide to have lunch and go to Ristorante
Poste Vecie (the oldest restaurnat where Cassanova would impress his companions) not too far from the Rialto bridge
While sitting there we talk with two women, a woman from Cuba, who lives in Gemany visiting her friend. She had lobster, so we helped her with breaking shells to get the lobster meat.  Talking with her, we find that she does sales for Murano glass products and Heidi shows her the earrings. Immediately, she recognizes that these earrings are definitely
made of Murano glass. Lunch is okay and expensive and afterwards we decide to go Dosoduro district to walk along the Canale di Fusina.  To get there we go by San Marco square over the Academia bridge.  It is a beautiful warm day and we are walking along this canal and Heidi see several Biennale Art Exhibits.  The first one we both go in
and there are a couple of more that Heidi goes into and I decide to hang outside.  Finally, aftere walking for
about an hour we decide to head back to Piazzale Roma and I know the general direction to get there.  We are walking
and it seems like it taking longer than I think it should and we ask a couple of people for some help and we get some directions to go over one the bridges that has us walking along the canal that I recognize will take us back to the
bus area. We find a little restaurant and sit down and have a couple of beers and just relax. We make our way back to the bus area and get the bus to take us back to the hotel.  Carol and John told us about a restaurant that they liked right near the hotel.  We head down there ( a 5 minutes walk) and I did not like it but it was a real nice evening.
Finally, we return to the hotel and get our luggage ready for tomorrow morning and our flight home.


May 22nd – We get the shuttle (I think it cost 4 Euros) to the airport and after looking around we get information to the United counter. We get our luggage checked in and we head through security to the gate.  Our flight back from Venice to Newark was uneventful (thankfully) and we landed a little early in Newark.  I had a Mobile Passpost app on my phone (It has to be used within 4 hours) and (after several tries) got it accept our flight information. When going through Cuistoms, we were able to clear it in 5 minutes. After clearing customs we reloaded our baggage for flight to
Boston.  Ultimately, our flight was cancelled rebooked to Manchester which was going to be a four hour delay (bad
weater in the Northeast) and we decided to cancel our flight and get a rental car. We went to Hertz and got a rental car.
We left the airport around 6:00 pm and was in heavy traffice right to New Haven Connecticut.  We got home
around 11:00 pm.