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Italia in 40: Day 21…Arrivederci Venezia!

My last day in Venice was perfect! I slept in (I use that term loosely because it is practically impossible to sleep-in at this hotel) and then decided to make my wait to St. Mark’s for the Festa della Sensa.

I got ready and walked from San Samuele to St. Mark’s. On my way there, I got a 3 Euro piece of pizza and a 2.5 Euro gelato that were both amazing!

Just before reaching the square, I turned around and came back toward my hotel because I still had an hour and a half until the afternoon portion of the festival began.

I went back to a café by my hotel and had a glass of wine and some water, along with some complimentary chips, while watching people and listening to the tables around me converse. An older British gentleman next to me was on a date with a 24 year old woman, so I listened to them and laughed to myself as he tried to woo her.

After that, I went back up to my room to get my sweater and then made my way to St. Mark’s. I was aiming for Riva degli Schiavoni, which is the location suggested by the Festa della Sensa event site as the best viewing spot for the gondola races…but it was really crowded so I decided to go into the palace instead.

It just so happens that after looking all around the palace I ended up on the end nearest St. Mark’s Basin and was near a window at 5:45 when the 4-man gondola races were about to begin.

I had a prime spot for viewing. So, I suggest this: if you are going to view the Festa della Sensa races, buy a ticket to the palace (or use your Venezia Unica pass) and go up to the second floor where the military museum is (rooms full of weaponry) and watch the races from there. You can go down to the café in the palace and then come back up for the next race, if need be.

While in the Doge’s palace, an old woman collapsed so all the museum attendants rushed to her aid and I was able to sneak some great/illegal pictures of the hall of the Great Council (obviously, I hope the woman is alright). I also got pictures from the Bridge of Sighs and a few other shots…

Anyway, after the race, I walked under the porticos back through the square, past Café Florian, and saw the most beautiful jewelry EVER.

If you are a dude, and rich, and your girl is into all that mess, you should propose to her at Café Florian. It is like a movie. They have tables out in St. Mark’s Square, a full band playing all the time, waiters in white coats, and drapes along the portico. It is ridiculously expensive (11 Euros for one glass of wine), for no reason other than the atmosphere, but it is literally like a romance fantasy from the 1950s.

After ogling at all of the expensive shops and window-shopping for things I will never be able to buy, I went back toward my hotel again. I walked into the church on the piazza near my hotel and looked around for a minute, but mass started at 19:00 and I did not feel like I should stay. I was not dressed well, everyone was old, it was in Italian and I have not been to confession-so I dipped out and went back to the café I started at.

I ordered some Prosecco (awesome Italian champagne) and just relaxed for a bit before going to dinner.

I went back to the first restaurant I visited here in Venice and ordered spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino again and a bruschetta appetizer.  It was good!

After dinner, I went up to my room and dropped off my bag and then went back to the place I’ve bought dinner from the last three nights: Bacaro da Fiore!

The silver fox was working again aka Paolo. I had some wine and hung out. It was so interesting to watch people. There was an old German couple there and they looked SO in love. They were laughing and flirting with each other and it was adorable.

Most everywhere here is dog friendly as well, so a couple of people brought their dogs in and they were so sweet!

Paolo only charged me for 2 glasses of wine, even though I had three. I tried to correct him, but he said he paid for the third one, haha!

It was a perfect last day in Venice: pizza, gelato, wine, gondola races, the Doge’s palace, people watching, pasta…PERFECT!

After finishing my wine I just came back to my room and packed. Tomorrow I head to Naples for a week. I will be quite busy. I am even going to a Daddy Yankee concert while I’m there!

Talk to y’all tomorrow!