Day 19 - New Year's Eve

Trip Start Dec 11, 2016
Trip End Jan 16, 2017

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Saturday, December 31, 2016

The next morning we set out to see Piazza San Marco, having been warned about the crowds and to get there early.  The square is enormous and beautiful and crowded so we took photos and headed off to explore the Dorsoduro area (on the advice from our very knowledgable friend and teacher Mr Hunt).  Getting there was an adventure and we were happily lost amongst the beautiful maze of cobble stone and canals in the sunshine.  We eventually found Campo St Barnabas square and were not disappointed.  We were away from the tourists and exploring the real Venice.  We found our first lunch in a local little patisserie where the shop keeper laughed at us saying "big family" as we ordered a variety of treats to try.  Next we decided to keep exploring and slowly made our way back to the Castello area (where we were staying). We stopped again at a lovely little cafe for expresso, cappuccino and hot chocolate (and the loo) before going to the Rialto Bridge.  Murano glass looked like a great gift idea so we stopped at each shop along the way.  But the Rialto was unbelievably busy, one side was closed for maintenance so all tourists were funneled up the other side, chaos!  By then some of the travelers needed a rest before the NYE festivities which gave the shoppers an opportunity to look for more Murano glass and leather bargains.  Next dinner - this time we shopped around more carefully for a ristorante.  We again enjoyed delicious pizza and pasta and another bottle of Chianti (again not sold by the glass).  Dessert was back to our Gelato shop to try more flavors and a quick stop to buy masquerade masks which were essential to celebrating NYE in Venice. We were warned away from Piazza San Marco to watch the fireworks so we headed for a less crowded place further along the water front.  Already Venice was feeling very festive with the crowds in high spirits and having fun.  We waited patiently in our spot and were not disappointed with the amazing show.  20 minutes of spectacular fireworks.  Huge falling lights that lit up the whole sky, have never seen a display like this one.  The night ended with us being very lost in a whole new area of Venice.  Fortunately the crowds were funny and there was plenty to see as we eventually made our way home.
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