Wednesday July 20, 2011
We made it! We had a long two days of travel - Fairbanks to Minneapolis, then Minneapolis to Paris, then finally Paris to Milan! Our Paris layover was long enough for everyone to change and freshen up, plus check out all the cool shops at Charles de Gaulle.
We finally boarded our Alitalia flight and soon landed in Milan. We were met by our tour director, Andrea, and soon left Milan until we arrived in the town of Verona - yes, the Verona of Romeo and Juliet fame! Although Shakespeare's story of the star crossed lovers was fictional, he based much on the society Verona at the time - including the prominent Montague and Capulet families in the town. The old Capulet home still stands , and their courtyard and balcony still draw crowds - including us!
By the time we reached our hotel in Venice we were all DONE with traveling! We kept our heads up through dinner, then crashed!
Everyone was fresh and ready to take on beautiful Venice this morning. There are no autos in Venice, the only way around is by foot or boat. We were able to experience both- a ferry ride to Venice proper, a walking tour, a gondola ride through the canals, then lots more walking.
Venice is a really interesting city built on a series of islands. There are over 400 little bridges connecting them. Some of the more prominent ones we saw were the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge, and the Academia Bridge. We also saw beautiful St. Marks Square, the basilica, and went through the impressive Doges palace. Venice was a city state for hundreds of years, ruled by a series of minor royalty called Doges (kind of like dukes and earls).
We finished off the day with some great shopping- I believe some Venetian (Murano) glass was purchased by a few, as well as some other items that some mothers will be very happy with!
Tomorrow - on to Florence!