We had been to Venice before. We got off the ship as soon as our luggage was in our cabin and we explored the city for several hours. It was very hot and very crowded. We had no problem taking the ship's transfer to the water taxi.
We took the ship's bus into the city (1 1/2 hour ride.) We had 5 1/2 hours to tour on our own. We had been to Florence 23 years ago and the synagogue was closed at that time. This time we made it our first stop at 10 AM. We waited for it to open inside a lovely kosher cafe - Ruth's Cafe - which is next door. Anyone who enters the synagogue must first lock cameras and back packs in a locker before entering. Each visitor must go through a revolving X-ray cubicle. The synagogue is a treasure. The museum commemorating the Holocaust had very interesting photos and captions. We enjoyed standing in the second floor women's balcony and looking down on the main sanctuary. There are several displays on the second floor. The first floor has the main sanctuary and a gift shop. We bought a lovely wine bottle stopper made in Murano.
Then we walked for about 45 minutes in the opposite direction to the Pontevecchio Bridge. Of course, there was lots to see on the way. We enjoyed the straw markets and did most of our shopping for leather goods here. Too bad so many items are made in China, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and no longer manufactured in Italy.