After mass we all went to dinner at Al Giardinetto. Then we rode back on the boat after dark. I got some good photos.
After our tour and all our other fun in Venice the Chorus sang mass at the Basillica. As we stood outside waiting to go in Jonathon had bought a guitar and started playing. The whole chorus started singing Lean On Me. People were stopping to take photos of everyone. It was really fun. The chorus got dressed in the crypt. As David leaned against a wall to put his socks on the wall was crumbling. I was not allowed to take photos in there but I did get a couple and one of the church before I found out there were no photos allowed. David thought the San Marco has to be one of the most spectacular building in the world.
We caught a boat to Venice where we met up with our local guide at St Mark’s square. We toured the Doge’s Palace which I would have thought was a home but it was where government offices were. We walked across the Bridge of Sighs which was the walk that criminals walked to prison. Venice floods regularly and that is why they have mosaics there.
We had planned to take a gondola ride with a couple of our chorus friends, so when they gave us free time we were off. They were on lunch break, so we found a place for lunch. It was a great place. It was behind the opera house, so all the opera singers would come there after an opera. There were pictures of opera singers all over. The people at the table next to us were from Bangladesh and it was one of their birthdays. My small chorus, David, Sherry and Janet along with our waiter sang happy birthday to her which they all were very thankful for.
After a wonderful lunch we were off for our gondola ride. We were standing in line and met two Russian girls who asked if they could share our boat. We told them sure. That made the 80 euro ride not bad at all when split 6 ways.
We boarded our bus to head to the next hotel. We stopped in Verona on our way to Padua. Verona is the setting for Shakespeare’s plays Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentleman of Verona. Verona is one of the most romantic cities in the world. The Capulet house, with Juliet’s famed balcony, is a big tourist attraction. Also, the statue of Juliet where everyone rubs the boob to find true love. David gentle caressed the boob because he had already found true love. While Ron snuck up from behind to cop a feel. There are still volunteers who answer the letters left there. The setting, surrounded by mountains and the River Adige, is gorgeous. There are magnificent Roman ruins also.
We ate lunch at Al Bracere Restaurant.
Our bus took us through the gently rolling landscape to Siena. We had a group lunch at Gallo Nero Restaurant. The chorus sang the Alaska Flag Song for the waiters, waitress and kitchen staff at the restaurant. We the walked through the ancient, narrow lanes to Piazza del Campo. Siena’s historic center has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
We then went to San Gimignano. The best gelato is found there. I had orange peel and saffron and a scoop of lavender and blackberry. The longest walk to the WC I have ever been on.
All of us Alaskans are really having a hard time with the heat in Italy. Almost all of us have developed this rash and swelling of the feet and ankles. Some have even been having trouble with bug bites.
Florence is one of my favorite places in Italy. It is really beautiful. We left our hotel in Montecatini and after about 40 minutes we arrived. We were given several hours on our own to find lunch a look around. David and I stopped for lunch at an outdoor restaurant. I sat down and was trying to take my camera off when I found that my hair was stuck on the button on the back of my shirt. David started trying to get it out. Next thing I know our waiter comes over and starts making the motion of scissors with his fingers. I am going no, no! Then a waitress comes over and is trying to help David. David finally gets it out and everyone cheers him. I did get my pizza in Florence.
After our free time we went on the walking tour with our local guide. I do enjoy these because they tell you things that you don’t read in tour books. It was very interesting to see the marks that were on the buildings to show the flood lines. Some of them were 6 feet up in the main square. This still happens in modern times. Also, on the first Sunday of every month is “Sunday at the Museum” and there are no entrance fees so the lines are long.
David is at the Accademia Museum but the lines were so long we did not go in. The photo that I have included is a replica of David. I have seen the real one before on one of my other trips over here. Besides I have my own David.