Mussel harvesting

One of the great features of our week in and around Venice, is that we have a choice of activities each day. On Thursday some guests headed to the town of Ravenna, famous for its fabulous early Christian and Byzantine mosaics, which date from the time the city as the capital of Western Europe. It's no wonder Ravenna has UNESCO World Heritage status, and we enjoy a guided tour and some free time, before returning to our ship, now docked in Chioggia.

As an alternative, other guests drove first, from our overnight dock at Porto Viro, to Chioggia. On arrival we could take a guided walk through the extensive weekly market, including a popular fish market, or have some free time. 

Many met up at the square at the top of the town, under the column with the tiny lion, in Corso del Popolo! From here we joined a converted fishing boat for a pleasant trip around the harbour, to our ultimate destination in the middle of Chioggia lagoon, a fisherman's casone. This is essentially a fisherman's platform on stilts in the shallow water, where the fishermen attend to their mussel farm. We see the mussels growing on their ropes and a few of us help the fisherman clean them ready for cooking. Soon afterwards, we sit down for a tasty lunch of mussels, bread and wine, followed by a large plate of fresh sardines.

Everyone was back on board the River Countess by late afternoon, and we all enjoyed a wonderful sailing back into Venice. The sunset was particularly stunning! Dinner was served in the ship's Savoy Restaurant, and live music followed in the ship's lounge, with an excellent singer, Maria Rovere, accompanied by her equally excellent pianist and drummer. There was also some audience participation on the dance floor, but we daren't tell you more!