Buongiorno, fellow Italy travelers! I'd like to hear from anyone else on this tour (10/5 departure if you're doing Venice pre-trip, 10/8 departure if you're doing the main trip only). I was able to talk 3 friends into coming with me on this tour; 2 have never been to Italy, 1 has traveled a bit throughout Italy, and I've spent a week in Florence (only). One of our friends is not doing Venice, so we'll meet up with her in Chianciano.
The 3 of us doing Venice will not be participating in the gondola ride/dinner - I've found a really 'nice', highly-rated restaurant with open-air deck seating on the Grand Canal (Ristorante Riviera) where we'll spend that particular evening eating fresh seafood caught that very day, drinking a couple of bottles of wine from their wine cellar, and watching dusk fall and the lights come on for the palazzi across the canal. We might end up spending almost as much $$ as the gondola ride, but we three agreed we'd rather enjoy a truly delectable Venetian dining experience instead. Salute!
I've had a Countdown Clock running on my computer desktop - started it 100 days prior; now we're down to 34 days before departure - evviva! email@example.com