Day 1


We arrived at our hotel in the mainland city of Mestre located on the northeast coast of Italy. We jettied out to Venice the next morning.  Venice is a cluster of 118 islands lying approximately 2 1/2 miles off the coast of Mestre in then Adriatic Sea.  Our two day stay in Venice was hampered by fog.  Most mornings we were on our tour bus at 7:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. Ithaca) not to return until 6-7:30 p.m.  When we arrived in Venice we hooked-up with two other tour groups, one from Grand Rapids, Mi and another from New York, to fill all the seats on the bus. Accompanying us on our tour was tour director Kate Williamson, an English born native who has spent most of her life in Italy, most recently in Milan. Kate was an informed, well organized (down to the smallest detail), experienced, and certified tour director who provided a significant impact on the outstanding success of our tour.  She knew all the short cuts and local hangouts of every city we visited including Rome, which was a life-saving event when you considered the extremely narrow streets, filled, all at the same time, with cars, bicycles, motorbikes, trucks, and pedestrians. Yikes!



Murano glass is glass made on the Venetian island of Murano, which has specialized in fancy glasswares for centuries. Murano’s glassmakers led Europe for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glassenamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these centuries-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass figurines to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers, as well as tourist souvenirs.

Watch one of the Murano artisans create a beautiful glass horse for us as we watched by clicking the following link: Murano Glass Blower

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