We are now on the final leg of the Gustavus Choir’s Italian Tour 2011 and last night we arrived in Venezia — the beautiful canal city and guide Elisabetta’s hometown. (Where she has graciously shared her office and Internet connection with me to keep you all abreast of our journey!)
Coming to Venice is an adventure not quickly forgotten. We traveled from Florence by bus through the Apennine Mountains (which were snow covered, perhaps just for us as we’re told that happens infrequently).
We stopped in Verona to encounter:
- The ancient arena (where the choir formed “GAC” on the sand staging area and sang the Gustie Rouser (see separate post on that).
- A restaurant where we had a group lunch that included a three-course meal of local food (antipasto, tortellini, and layered cake).
- The famed-Juliet’s balcony and supposed setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” (You can see this pilgrimage site for lovers in the contemporary America movie “Letters to Juliet”)
- People ice skating on an outdoor rink on the piazza in front of the arena and the restaurant.
Back on the bus, we traversed more countryside (dotted with grapevines for a white wine rather than the red wine). And after about 90 minutes, we departed the bus (saying goodbye to Austrian drives Jorg and Alex), traversed a bridge with all of our luggage and climbed onto a water taxi. This bus-sized boat took us to our hotel in heart of Venice.
Then Elisabetta escorted us to a local square (away from the high tourist areas) to grab a bite to eat. Some had pizza and gelatto and the more adventuresome had local seafood (fresh from the Mediterranean Sea).
Today, we have a full day of site seeing, a mass, a concert, and a final banquet. So we expect to be to bed at Midnight and up at 3 a.m. for water transport to the airport.