We are now in Venice, Italy and it has been unbearably hot and humid (37 deg. C and 80% humidity) Thank goodness our hotel is comfortably air conditioned, but even five minutes outdoors leaves you dripping wet. Yesterday afternoon we had a three hour combination boat and walking tour so you can imagine how glad we were to get back to the hotel afterwards to shower and change.
I enjoyed looking at the picturesque canals and the numerous gondolas, but of course, the focal point of this part of the journey was the basilica of San Marco. Part of our tour included entrance into the church and avoiding the huge lines. But it meant going up some very steep steps up to the gallery and not being able to walk through the nave. No doubt, though, the interior is spectacular with its gilded mosaics. I am sorry we could not get a sense of the acoustics so we had to only imagine what the music of Gabrieli and Monteverdi would have sounded like in this building.
Venice is crawling with tourists, and our guide said they get 20 million visitors each year. From what we could hear in the streets and restaurants, most of them are speaking American English. The prices for food and drink are sky high, and our guide said they are comparable to Manhattan. For dinner we only had prosciutto and melon, plus an antipasto platter, drinks and ice cream and it was over 110 euros. Yikes!