This morning we had a sleep-in! YEAH SLEEP-IN! Then we got up and organised pretty leisurely. We ended up spending the day just walking around and ‘getting lost’ in Venice. It’s an easy (and free!) way to see the city, and there are signs everywhere pointing you back to certain points so you will never find yourself stranded. We walked back to San Marco and along the Grand Canal to the Bridge of Sighs. Then we headed back through towards the Rialto Bridge and went a little further beyond that. Venice is full of restaurants and souvenir shops (and I bought a lot of souvenirs and little pressies for people today. A lot.) and the little winding streets and canals make it beautifully picturesque. I also took a stack of photos, so look out for them on facebook.
I was coming out of a souvenir shop when a guy came up to me and flashed a badge at me, telling me he was the ‘tax police’. Straight away, you could tell something was up. First of all, he came out of nowhere, and when I looked behind me his mate was there as well. Alfie and Sean were standing near me and joined me and Cara was a bit further off and she looked over at us. This dude didn’t have any kind of uniform and when I asked to see his badge again he took it out reluctantly and kind of flashed it at me before shoving it in his pocket. Yeah, tax police. My foot. He started asking me stupid irrelevant questions about the bag I had bought. Then he asked me my name and I told him it was Emily Principe. (There you go, Dad! At least one Italian, even he is a dodgy piece of scum, thinks our last name is Principe!) The whole time Sean and I stared at him and Alfie and Cara stared at his mate, who was still floating around behind me. Then he kind of gave up on us and waved us away. Take that, inept con man. Next time, don’t pick a group of four people to try and rob. The ‘tax police scam’ apparently happens a bit in Venice and just involves one guy asking you dumb questions, while his accomplice goes through your bag. Ugh. I felt cross for ages afterwards. I was happy they hadn’t got anything, but I was still mad that they had the audacity to try. I guess we should be grateful we haven’t encountered any scams before this. It’s really unpleasant.
Afterwards, we went back to hotel to dump the stuff we had bought, and then set out for dinner. It was a long walk to our intended restaurant, but it was picturesque and took us far away from the tourist district. We didn’t like the look of it when we got there, but we went to another place near it and had good meals for much, much less than we had paid last night. I got pistachio and licorice gelati on the way back to the hotel, and I don’t think I’m up for going out again tonight. Too tired! It is nice, however, to be slightly less cold than Germany and Prague.