Day 5 and our last day in Venice. We tried to leave some things to do as we have to check out at 10am but the flight doesn't leave until 10pm so we can't have our late afternoon relaxing time.
We hadn't done the basilica or the tower so headed off to St Mark's square to join the queues! Luckily we were only queuing for about 25 mins and got to see inside the basilica which was nice and worth it for free. We didn't bother with the paid for exhibits.
Next it was up the tower and we got some amazing shots across the island.
We decided to have a nice sit down lunch since we needed some time to rest the legs during the day. We'd heard of a nice chain restaurant just behind the square that did really good pizzas so gave that a go.
Al went for a pizza sandwich which was extremely tasty.
We had planned to go to another museum on the list which was close to the square but unfortuntely the museum pass was a little deceiving as the museum we'd planned to see was actually inside the Museo Correr which we'd already been to and seen so couldn't go back.
That meant only one thing, we had to find the number 1 gelateria. As it seems is the case with Venice it wasn't too far away. They had a good selection of flavours which are all home made and they even make cream to go on top (which I thought I should try). Interestingly we didn't vote this place the best and Mela Verde from day 2 was still the winner.
We did a bit more window shopping and came across what claimed to be the best bookshop in the world. It certainly was a quirky little place. 4 rooms filled floor to ceiling with books.
Most were in Italian but he did have a small selection of English books too.
We also managed to find a lovely piece of art work here to join our collection at home from all the places we have visited over the last several years.
The only thing left to do now, and the most popular tourist activity I'm sure, was to enjoy a gondola ride. I'm really pleased I didn't book a trip in advance as the cost was €31 and that was sharing a boat for 6 people and crusing with 7 other boats with a shared musician on one of the boats. It would have been nice to have the music but not at the expense of our own private ride and the cost wasn't much more at €80 for the whole gondola.
We chose a place just behind our apartment as we didn't want to ride up the grand canal or under the bridge of sighs as that's where all the other tourist gondolas were and quite often they were stuck one by one behind each other in a traffic jam. We chose well as there were hardly any other people around for the entire ride.
Our gondolier said it takes 6 months to train and he'd been doing it 49 years! He certainly had some skills when it came to navigating the tight corners.
The ride was lovely and I'd recommend it to anyone on their first visit to Venice.
We made our way back to the apartment to collect our luggage.
We'd sort of run out of things to do and needed some relaxing and air con so decided we'd head to the airport early and make good use of our VIP lounge access.
On checking our VIP passes it turns out they expired at the end of June (new ones in the post) so we were a little worried they wouldn't let us in as some lounges can be really particular about having the cards even though the membership number is the same. We were in luck and the guy didn't even mention it so we had 4 hours to pass with comfy chairs,air con and free food and drinks. Annoyingly our flight was delayed an hour and then when we landed back in Gatwick the M3 was closed so it meant it was a long night as we didn't get to bed until after 3.30am but overall it was worth it as we had an awesome trip.