Saturday was like a dream....we all enjoyed breakfast (the Italian coffee is so rich and they add just the right amount of heated milk to it...yummy!) and then met outside our hotel at 9AM. the sun was out and we were all ready for a terrific day! We walked along the water...and saw the famous "Bridge of Sighs" (perfect time for our photos too - the crowd was not bad because it was still early in the day). Then we headed for St. Mark's Square for more details and information from Schne about how it all began...
Stephanie sang again on this day! We were so proud and she was wonderful (she really drew a crowd)!!
Then it was time for our tour of the Murano Glass factory...this is one for tourists to learn about the Venetian Glass and see the various items they make...everything from massive chandeliers to goblets to wine sets to ear rings (the official factories, where they blow glass on a regular basis is on the island of Murano...but there is never enough time to go there!!) We saw so much..and several of the students bought gifts for family back home.
Then we walked through the mazes to the Rialto Bridge! The day was turning out so nice, not too hot, not too cold (well, it's Italy...it's never too cold!)...and of course we took over a great space at the top to take our photos (you HAVE to have your photo taken at the top of the Rialto Bridge!!)
Then on down to the other side of the bridge we went....to the oldest church in Venice...which I was pleased to discover is now lighted...so you can see the inside!! It was bright and beautiful, and Schne told us about it's history...so much to learn!
Then the group tour was over...Schne was taking some over to the Academia...others were going to go to the Lido to dip their toes in the Adriatic! Others continued on shopping....we were right in the main market area so I took advantage of the moment and enjoyed a cup of fresh fruit! So good!!! Everyone could then spend the day on their own adventures. DavidM, Mike and DavidF decided to go to the Doges Palace...Stephanie and Russell went walking and shopping...it was fantastic!
When I returned to the hotel later that afternoon I found most of the students relaxing out their windows and watching the boats come into the harbor (getting ready for the festival later that night!!) Everyone had a super day......and some were resting up for the night ahead!
Well, Stephanie sang again on the square...but more importantly....RUSSELL PROPOSED MARRIAGE TO STEPHANIE ON THEIR HOTEL ROOM'S TERRACE TOP!! So Romantic!!!
With such a great day, I knew it could only get better....I pre-planned everyone to come and sneak into my hotel room to surprise Steph for her birthday (Sunday)...when Steph walked in it was so great 'SURPRISE!!" Then everyone when out on the terrace to watch the fireworks!! Such an incredible view! Some stayed others went back to their own rooms - everyone had a view of a lifetime! REDENTORE FESTIVAL 2008 - FABULOUS!!!