This is a report more on my excursion than on a tour from the cruise.

There is always luck in who you are with, and because I have been with the same group for a while I was able to sit at table with Barbara Moore, wife of Ron B Moore, who does special effects for Star Trek and other movies. She was staying with one of the women on our table.

The other bit of luck was that one of those at our table was Brent Stein, who is with Mt. Hood Beverage Company. He was in touch with the Villa Sandi winery in Venice, when they said, "Why don't you come to Venice and visit us?"

He said, "Well, as it happens, I will be on a cruise which ends in Venice," and they said something like, "Well, why not bring a busload of friends for a tour of the winery?"

I had not been going to do anything on the day, because I had four more days to relax in Venice before the looonnngg flight home (and was I glad when I saw the tour groups struggling about Venice!) so this was out of the blue. Not only was it one of the most pleasant excursions for the trip, it didn't cost me a lire.

It was also interesting, because we drove for some time through lush green country which I wouldn't have known existed from my stay on the islands near St Mark's Square.

The group approaches the winery itself. Second from left is Our Leader, Charles, and the actors and their families were also invited.

Our guide, Silvana Graziottin, explaining the workings of the assembly lines.

Bruce and Michelle recording everything.

Bruce still clicking away.

"So many bottles, so little time!" sighs Barbara.

We saw thousands of bottles in the cellars, and some barrels.

We walked through secret ways (in other words, we were lost) to the Villa Sandi itself, and then had a very nice lunch.