Venice has been slowly sinking into the marshes that it was built on, but fortunately we arrived in time to see it still afloat. We couldn't quite believe just how much Venice looks like all the pictures. It was amazing to see that everything really is done on the water - take any vechicle you'd see in a normal city, and Venice has a boat version. During our short stay, we saw water taxis, gondolas, delivery boats, garbage boats, fire boats and even a police boat - complete with lights and sirens - speeding to some emergency.
Our hotel was a former palace right by a canal, only a short walk from Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square). After looking through the Basilica (completing our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tour of Italy with a Donatello sculpture), we walked around the square, decided not to have €13 coffees at Cafe Florian (where Casanova used to frequent) and contemplated buying some original Picasso and Dali works on sale at a gallery.
We delved into the heart of old Venice, and spent a lovely evening losing ourselves amongst the picturesque streets, canals and bridges. We made sure not to miss Venice's best gelati (finishing our "best gelati" tour of Italy), Karina got a new bag to match her new shoes, we took a ride on a very shiny black gondola (getting ourselves in lots of people's Venice photo albums), and had dinner at another wine bar.
The next morning we had just enough time to head up to another square (surprisingly off the main tourist track) for some morning tea, before taking the boat-bus down the Grand Canal and back to the train station. Venice was a lovely way to end our time in Italy, and before we knew it (for once, the Italian trains seemed to be on time), we were heading for France.