We were able to tour Saint Marks Square (the crowds!) and the Doges Palace (the grandeur!) just before the Pope's visit the next day closed the city's central core and the Grand Canal like a trapdoor. Minor flooding also closed some buildings for a few hours.
Did the sins of our earlier visit disqualify us from VIP access to the Square? the Pope?
Not to worry, we simply strolled along the narrow medieval lanes and over cute bridges almost aimlessly to sip cafe Americano, lick gelato and people watch. Anna loves to shop and David doesn't but this time David was on a mission to gather and photograph Venetian Carnival masks and to capture gondolas and gondoliers with his Canon 7D.
Could Venice's Carnival festival in February be our next Venetian photo op or will close-ups of their masks do?