Like everyone else, I deserted the District over Labor Day weekend. Georgia wasn’t on my mind. I didn’t do Dewey. I really just wanted to ride in a gondola before the city fell into the water.
I still maintain that Venice is like Vegas – a place you can spend a great few days, and then you’ve had enough. I did get my fill, and I loved every minute of it!
We were your normal tourists. Toured St. Marc’s cathedral, bought masks reminiscent of Teatro Goldoni, shopped for Italian leather/glass baubles/designer couture, and ate so much pizza and pasta we needed to walk around as much as we did!

But the best parts we happened upon…

Each year on the first Saturday in September, an annual celebration and regatta takes place. We joined the masses cheering for our favorite team. (I fell in love with the yellow team, but I still have no idea how they placed. I think they won, but the race seemed to be rowed in circles, so I have no way to be sure.)
And we couldn’t have been luckier to fall into the Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festival, dating prior even to Cannes. The film of choice was “Jesse James” starring Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. When we couldn’t get tickets, we choose, instead, to take advantage of the Cipriani’s Restaurant on a neighboring island. For a while the only patrons of the tiny bar, it filled very quickly! Upon closer inspection, the Angelina Jolie look-alike immediately behind me turned out to actually be Angelina, with Brad Pitt to my left. Not only did we have the great fortune to run into Richard Gere, Charlize Theron, and others during our Venice vacation, Bill also profited when Warner Brothers bought him a scotch! (Sorry, no pictures. That would have shown that we didn’t belong… so you’ll just have to believe me!)

And yes, at the end of our four days, I did finally get my gondola ride.