If you’re visiting Venice, the most “touristy” think you can do is take a gondola ride. It’s not overrated – it’s well worth doing and a lot of fun. It’s especially fun with friends. Really, there is nothing else in the world like taking a gondola ride through the waterways of Venice.
We boarded our gondolas right at St. Mark’s Square. I think with so many people in the gondola, we made our driver a little crazy.
It didn’t last very long, but it was a peaceful, soothing trip that was a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again, no matter how “touristy” it sounds to do it.
Since we had an overnight in Venice, we didn’t have to worry about what time we got back to the ship. The men in our party went back early, but the ladies booked a foodie tour. This was a lot of fun. We took water transport down through the Grand Canal to the meeting place, which was a bit off the beaten path. It was nice to see a quieter side of Venice.
The tour met near a church that was quiet. There was no one around except the people meeting for the tour.
We walked to the first of four locations where we had different things to eat and drink.
Our first stop was Cantina do Mori. We started with a glass of white wine along with Baccala mantecato, which is creamed cod on bread. I’m not a huge seafood or fish person, but I liked it.
For our next stop, we had to take a water taxi to cross the canal. Getting in and out of the boats can be a bit intimidating if you’re not used to it. I’m sure a few people have fallen into the canals. It wasn’t far to Ostaria all’antico Dolo. There we had a choice of white or red wine. Since we just had white, most of us chose red. This was accompanied by two items on polenta. On the left is calamari, and on the right was onion and sausage.
Our next stop was on the other side of the Rialto Bridge. At Enoteca we were given wine and sandwiches. By this time, with all the walking, my ankle was crying for a break. I decided to head back to the ship while the rest of our friends finished the tour. This was the final stop:
We weren’t sure how to get back to the ship from here. We started taking the water transport in the direction someone told us, but the language barrier didn’t help. We could see the sky darkening as well, right in the direction we were headed. The transport ended as the storm blew in and kicked us off at the stop. We weren’t sure of where we were or how to get to the ship. We were looking for the people mover but didn’t see it. We were soaked through and finally managed to hail a taxi.
The ship was about a 5 minute ride away over a bridge. If we had just walked up the road a bit we would have seen it. We were ever so grateful at that point to get out of the rain anyway, so we gave the driver 20 euros for the trip.
Although we were still in Venice the next day, my shoes were still soaked and I was tired of all the walking, so I stayed on the ship and rested. I really enjoyed Venice quite a bit and would love to return. The sail-out was as beautiful as the sail-in had been.