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St. Mark’s, Doge’s Palace and a Gondola Ride!

Our The Tour Guy tour of St. Mark’s, the Doge’s Palace and a Gondola Ride was early, so we were up early and out the door by 9:00.

On our way to meet the tour at St. Mark’s square, Adriel noticed that water was starting to seep up from the concrete grates. Our tour guide explained that this was because the high tide was due. However, unlike record-breaking floods in the past, we should only see a few inches of water.

St. Mark’s church was absolutely stunning. Photos are banned and though we can try to describe it, we can’t do it justice. Our guide told us the story of how St. Mark’s body was secreted from Egypt in an oversized basket of meat. Thereafter, he forever replaced St. Theodore as the patron saint of Venice.

As we came out of St. Mark’s, we discovered that the ‘high tide’ had risen through the drains throughout the square. It was a two-inch deep lake. To continue on our tour, we had to simply trudge through it. I was very grateful for my Brooks Addiction Walkers as the leather held up and my feet stayed dry.

A trek down back alleys through Venice to the Rialto Bridge rewarded us with this view.

View of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

A bit more meandering led us to this gorgeous ‘back door’ of an ancient villa.

Exterior spiral staircase on multistory ancient home

We finished the morning with a gentle gondola ride through some back canals, a short ride on the Grand Canal, and then back to our starting dock.

Gondolier posing behind Adriel
Adriel, being photobombed by a gondolier
Gondolier standing at the head of his boat
Lots of folks enjoying gondola rides

The afternoon tour was slated to start in only 45 minutes, so we wolfed down some cichetti (tapas) and reported back to the columns in St. Mark’s Square.

Variety of small tapas
More tapas
Our quick lunch

We spent the afternoon touring the Doge’s Palace. Photos were allowed here, and we took dozens.

Stone carving of a face mounted in a stone wall at the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy
Where one could secretly report their neighbors’ illegal activities
Gilded ceiling of stairwell in the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy
Beautiful paintings on Doge's Palace Ceiling, Venice, Italy
Paintings inset to gold leave frames on Doge's Palace ceiling, Venice, Italy

After two hours of gilded splendor and some of the most amazing art that we’ve seen so far on this trip, we collapsed into club chairs in a bar on the way back to the hotel for spritz and chips.

Two campari spritzes
Campari Spritz

Once again, we power-napped in preparation for our evening out. We returned to La Feluca, the source of the delicious tortino ciocolato that we had enjoyed our first evening in Venice. I must confess that the chocolate tart was the primary reason that we returned though the other dishes were just as delicious.

We discovered two more delicious entrees on their menu…Black Squid Ink Tagliatelle and Red Snapper.

Black squid ink tagliatelle
Black squid ink tagliatelle…wonderful!
Red snapper next to fish and pasta dish
That’s red snapper that’s been cooked, the meat removed and combined with pasta and vegetables…it was phenomenal
Tortino cioccolato, or chocolate tart
We repeated the incredible chocolate torte from our first night in Venice, but this time we got the photo after cutting into it!

We were truly beat by then and succumbed to exhaustion. It was time to leave for Florence in the morning. Buonanotte!

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