Our walking tour was led by a native. Of course she spoke perfect English and talked about some of the history of Venice that boys would enjoy. We were provided with audio headsets so that we could hear every word as we walked along. The tour included St. Mark’s Basilica in San Marco Plaza. We weren’t able to get into the sanctuary. We might try returning tomorrow, though being Sunday, it’s doubtful we could enter the sanctuary itself but she suggested the museum and the bell tower. Our tour guide said that the population of Venice has shrunk from over 200,000 to just about 60,000 over the past several years because people just can’t afford to live on the island anymore.
After the tour we looked for a place to have dinner. Our guide had suggested a place her family likes and we weren’t disappointed. We were all famished and would have pretty much eaten anything but most people settled on individual pizzas, etc. We had Italian ice cream for dessert.
It was around 9 when we finished with dinner. The crowds had diminished, temperature was comfortable, and it was nice to walk around the square without being shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. Cruise ships dock here several days a week and they each unload thousands of tourists who have to be back on the ships by this time of night. (Our tour guide, by the way, hates the “tourists” as she calls the cruise ship people. She calls people like us, “visitors.” I wasn’t quite sure of the difference. Something about we stay and spend money on things like tours and restaurants whereas the tourists just shop and get back on the ship for everything else.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to officially check in. We only had time to drop our bags before our tour. Check-in took a while because they had to check all 21 passports, etc. It was quiet time by 10:30.
Tomorrow we’ll have a full day here before our night train out.