Ciao tutti! Oggi, siamo andati a Venezio per una giornata perfetta! We started our journey with a train ride from Verona to Venice, which was actually my first time on a train. Being on a train reminded me of the rides on the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter series, except that in our case we were going to the magical city of i canali rather than the school of witchcraft and wizardry. The most neat part of the ride was seeing the rolling hills outside of Padova that matched well with the romantic houses and verdeggianti prati that lined the landscape.
Upon arrival, we hopped on water taxis that transported us from the train station to Piazza di San Marco. At Piazza di San Marco, we went on Gondola rides through the canals and alleys of Venezia. Despite it being a cold and windy morning, the gondola ride was a phenomenal experience! It was extremely satisfying to soak in all of the colorful sights and architecture, particularly i ponti that reminded me of Pittsburgh and its own bridges. One curiosity that I will have to research more on is how water ambulances and other emergency vehicles in Venice respond to a situation in a timely manner with all of the gondolas and motorboats on the waterways.
After grabbing some more prosciutto piadina for lunch at un piccolo ristorante, we were ready for our walking tour of Venezia to commence. Our tour guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and engaging on our tour that began at The Doge’s Palace, which housed the democratically elected leader for the Republic of Venezia, and Il Duomo di San Marco, which displays magnificent Byzantine architectural influences, particularly the dome shapes, because Venezia was once part of the Byzantine Empire and also because the city wanted to imitate Constantinople, which at the time was one of the most influential cities in the world. Venezia also has strong ties to San Marco, not only because the winged lion of San Marco is the symbol of la città, but because in the ninth century the city moved the remains of the evangelist from Egypt to their cattedrale. From seeing the neighborhood where Marco Polo grew up to learning about “Il Getto” and Venice’s jewish population, the tour was very captivating and enlightening with its many insights into Veneziano culture and history.
After the tour and before we went back to the train station, we were given some more free time, during which a group and I decided to get lost in Venezia. Along our journey, I decided to stop for un cannolo buonissimo and had some free samples of cioccolatto from an Italian pasticceria. Getting lost was one of my favorite experiences this trip because it allowed us to stumble upon the quiet, less touristy parts of Venezia that were serene and peaceful. Luckily, I will be able to visit Venezia again next week when my family joins me after Plus3 for our own tour of Italia.
Arriverderci Venezia e A Presto!