Lance Armstrong visited Venice for the first time yesterday afternoon at the Giro d'Italia team presentation. The seven-time Tour de France winner arrived by gondola to Piazza San Marco, the centre of the city that discourages wheeled transportation.
"The view of the piazzas from the water was wonderful... I am happy I know how to swim," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Venice's lido boasts enough roadways to host the start of the centennial Giro d'Italia tomorrow, a 20.5 kilometre team time trial. Sunday, the race leaves the city of water for Trieste as part of its three-week journey to Rome.
"I was in Florence one time, many years ago, with Kristin and Luke [ex-wife and son - ed.]. Another time in Rome, but never in Venice. It is one of the world's masterpieces."
Armstrong will stay with his Astana team in Lido di Jesolo, just a few kilometres away from Venice via boat. Today, he joined his eight teammates for a training ride to prepare for tomorrow's stage.