After a long bus ride, we arrived in Venice shortly after 2:30 pm on Thursday. As usual, the beauty of the city caught us all off guard. We quickly checked in to our hotel, the Principe, and made our way to St. Mark's Square.

Our first tour was of the Doge's Palace. Construction on this building began in 1172 and it has been remodelled numerous times over the centuries in the Venetian Gothic style. The palace was not only the residence of the Doge, but also the place of government where senate and council members would meet. The palace opened as a museum in the 1920s for the public to view the magnificent architecture, artwork, decorated ceilings, and armoury.

The next morning we boarded a water taxi and headed to the island of Murano for a truly impressive glass blowing demonstration.

In the afternoon we held our "Tours by Choice." Students chose from a tour inside San Mark's Basilica, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, or the Museum of Natural History. My group visited the museum where we were impressed by the size of the collection as well as by the modern renovations.

We gathered later in the evening at the hotel for dinner, followed by a Mystery Tour of Venice. On the tour, we led the students off the beaten path, and through the Cannaregio neighbourhood to learn about some of the myths and legends of Venice. The next morning we made our way back to Lanciano.