After having my umbrella turn inside-out on the way to the People Mover, I had reservations about the tour we were going to take. I shouldn't have worried.
Igor met us at the cruise terminal, and walked us to the People Mover. He had already bought tickets for my husband and me so we wouldn't have to stand in line. We got off at the end of the line, near the train station. The rain had subsided by then. We had a leisurely half hour walk past the train station and colorful shops and eateries while Igor told us the history of Venice, the ecological problems--yes, Venice is sinking and that most of the island is held up by wooden pilings. We even saw one of the work crews repairing the pilings, from their boat.
Since we had been in Venice before and had seen most of the crowded tourist destinations, we decided to visit the Jewish and Arab Quarters. Igor is so articulate, and his enthusiasm and love for Venice is apparent. He explained that there was once a thriving community of Jews. The Jewish ghetto is worth seeing. Igor told us the word word “ghetto” derives from the Venetian expression which means metal-casting, and it was used for the first time in Venice to refer to the enclave where the Jews lived in segregation. There were many foundries here. In order to house as many people as possible in a limited space the houses in the ghetto were forced to expand upwards, giving rise to buildings with up to eight floors and rather low ceilings. As Igor told his stories, it opened our eyes to what Venice was like in the past.
Igor showed us the most beautiful hospital we had ever seen, and one of the most unique bookstores I have ever seen. There are piles of books everywhere, books in a gondola and in bathtubs, even stairs made out of books. Amazing.
After a few hours, the rain started to pour down on us. We snuck into a cafe, and Igor treated us to coffee, and regaled us with more stories. It was a wet, but wonderful day, guided by the wonderful Igor.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.