Venice: The Floating City, The City of Bridges, The Queen of the Adriatic… and our playground for the day! A short stop in neighbouring Murano for an artisan’s glass-blowing demonstration broke up the water-taxi journey from Jesolo to Venice. Despite a weather forecast that has called for rain our group has been fortunate to have nothing but sunny skies. Upon our arrival in downtown Venice, we had had our first smattering of rain which lasted all of 2 minutes before the warmth returned. Mr. Audia took time with the group to explain the historical significance of the city as a centre of trade and commerce, as well as its position as a rival city-state to the likes of Genoa and Pisa. Our discussion was coloured with examples from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” which highlighted Venice as a crossroads not only of commerce but also of culture. Our major guided tour of the day was through the Doje’s Palace where we saw frescoes, medieval armour and walked along the infamous Bridge of Sighs. In the afternoon Venice’s narrow streets became even busier with the tourist throngs as our group took time to discover small shops and secret gelato stops through the tiny passage-ways. Our visit was punctuated by the quintessential of Venetian experiences… a gondola ride up the Grand Canal! Evening was spent enjoying hand tossed, brick-oven pizzas back at our hotel in Jesolo and one final stroll along the boardwalk for gelato. David H holds claim to have already tried nine different flavours, and we’re only on our third day! Graham W, Graeme G and Matthew D also took some time in the evening to enjoy Italy’s national sport by kicking a soccer ball at an open pitch across from the hotel. Tomorrow we press on, looking towards another site with connections to the Bard from Stratford… fair Verona!