Day 9 - Tuesday, June 19 - Assisi - Ravenna - Venice.
Through Umbria and along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea to Ravenna. Ravenna is the burial place of Dante Alighieri, "the divine poet" and his tomb is located just off Piazza Garibaldi. We will see the mosaics of the 6th century Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Classe. We continue on to Venice which encompasses 118 islands separated by more than 150 canals that are spanned by some 400 bridges. Adding a profound historic past and incomparable art treasures, its fame as one of the world's great cities is well justified. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Venice.
Today we headed for Venice. It was another long bus trip. We are all getting pretty good at finding sleeping positions as at times the bus trip can get a little tedious, especially in traffic jams. The scenery is nice and does help pass the time. We take a side trip to Ravenna where Dante is buried. We saw the Basilica of St. Apollinaris and then had a great lunch at a little restaurant. It was lasagna made with home made noodles. We trudged back onto the bus one more time and headed for Venice. It was almost a pleasure to get back on the bus as it was too hot for words. Several hours later we arrived in Venice and some of our group took off on a gondola ride. The rest of us found a small cafe and relaxed in the shade as it was even hotter in Venice than Ravenna. After the ride, we crossed three bridges through Venice with our carry on luggage until we arrived at our hotel on the Grand Canal. It was miserably hot and some did not have satisfactory air conditioning. Mine was great, however our room was so small that you had to jump over the luggage to get into the bed. This is pretty typical for most hotels in Europe. We had an interesting fish dish for dinner (my shrimp were staring at me), but it was quite tasty. Later some took in the sights and others rested up for the next day.