June 27 Early Morning/Late Evening (Day 274)

Robert and I took advantage of the last few hours on our 48 hour Vaporetti ticket and took an early morning ferry on the Grand Canal, with NO TOURISTS! It was actually a commuter ferry that went from the train station directly to the Rialto bridge with no stops. It was partially filled with locals going to their jobs, probably in retail or food service. We joined them disembarking at the Rialto bridge and experienced it with the morning sun, and NO TOURISTS!We then hopped another -empty!- ferry and had our pick of seats!This ferry continued along the Grand Canal to St. Marks Square where we got a view of the Bridge of Sighs between the Doge’s Palace on the left and the Prison on the right.

If you look closely at the bridge in front you may see a bride being photographed with the Bridge of Sighs as the backdrop. We got off the ferry here and as we passed over the bridge the groom was having his turn modeling.

We walked into St. Marks Square, amongst the few early morning tourists.

Despite no tourists there were still no pigeons. I think the city has discouraged feeding of the pigeons to try and keep the square cleaner!

We stopped at one of the few open restaurants for coffee and a breakfast sandwich then caught another ferry back to the hotel just in time to partake of their breakfast! A day of rest, packing and naps culminated in Happy Hour on the 2nd floor terrace of the hotel, across the alley from Ed & Claire’s room.

We usually had a happy hour here before we would head out for dinner at a local restaurant.

Robert & I decided to share the fish of the day! It was delicious!

We all finished our dinner and went for a stroll to the closest gondola station and arranged for a ride. Our last night in Venice, we had to take a gondola ride!

Our Gondolier took us on slower, smaller canals through his neighborhood of Dorsodoura, where he took us past the local bar (where a friend gave him a beer!) and friends called out to him. He even pointed out his house and mentioned that his young daughters were out playing in the neighborhood!

We had a wonderful time in Venice. We tried to avoid the crowds, but sometimes that was impossible. The adventure continues!

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