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Read Matt Lauer’s diary from Venice, Italy.
/ Source: TODAY

During my first two days on this trip I have spent more time getting to the destinations than actually doing the show itself. Here are some quick travel facts: I have logged 20 hours on a plane or in an airport, 10 hours in a car and about three hours on a boat — not exactly a leisurely pace!

We did the open of the show in Venice on a gondola, the traditional mode of transportation in Venice. My gondolier Roberto was born to do this — both his father and grandfathers were gondoliers. I have to say it can get pretty rocky sittin in a gondola in the canal. I asked Roberto if he had ever fallen out and he laughed and said, “Yes. Twice!” However, he took excellent care of me.

Right after the show, I was pleased to see two U.S. soldiers from the Armed Force Network standing in the crowd. It turned out that they had their cameras with them and I was happy to do a quick interview with them before leaving Venice.

Besides the fact that I had to do the entire show in the pouring rain, I enjoyed every moment of my brief time in Venice. The canals, the tiny streets, the beautiful shops and cafes — didn’t get to go to any, but they were beautiful! I can now wee why it has been called one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Right after our broadcast in Venice, we received wonderful news from back in New York. Our executive producer, Jeff Zucker and his wife Caryn had given birth to their first child, a boy named Andrew James, who weighed in at an even eight pounds! On our flight to our next destination, we videotaped a champagne toast to baby Andrew and sent it to the proud parents via satellite.

Signing off for today…