Saying goodbye to Switzerland and hello to Italy. And goodbye, high-speed rail; hello motor coach! For the remainder of the tour we will be on this bus, with the same driver and guide. By the end of the adventure, we will all be great friends. Having done 5 of these tours already, I am very familiar with Italy and coach travel.
Venice's elevation is zero. Duh, makes sense, doesn't it? Water for streets, gondolas and ferries for travel. The breathtaking St. Mark's Basilica and Square are so very memorable. There are pigeons everywhere, and they will land on you (and drop a little doo-doo) if you are not careful. That's not too pleasant, but the sights are magnificent. The square and the church, too, are both prone to flooding, especially with high tide, so everyone just adjusts to it. I am afraid I would be worried sick, if I were a Venetian, at the thought of the loss of such grandeur due to the rising sea levels.
A gondola ride through the narrow channels of the city is a highlight, especially if you can get the gondolier to sing "O Solo Mio" at the top of his lungs! And they will, if they are in a jovial, playful mood. We tourists forget that they are at their job, and just like eveyone, sometimes the job becomes a drudgery.
For those who like to shop, Venice is famous for Carnivale Masks, Murano glass, and Burano lace.
This "little" chandelier will only set you back $4400 plus shipping - you say you want 2?
The Venetian Lagoon has many island, two of which are Murano and Burano. Back in 2001, our guide booked a boat for us to tour these islands - very memorable. I doubt there will be time on this trip for extra touring. Maybe I'll have to come back for that!