Although it seems like we just got back from Milan, this weekend we were off to Venice. Such is the life of Oles studying abroad.
We left early Friday morning. The trip started as quite the adventure since Katie hopped on the train literally 30 seconds before it departed from the station. After that initial scare, our trip was smooth sailing. Before arriving to mainland Venice, we visited the Island of Murano, which is famous for its hand-blown glass. We were fortunate enough to attend a glass-blowing demonstration by a local professional.
In the 10 minutes that the demonstration lasted, he created an elaborate vase as well as a glass horse. Unfortunately, fewer young people are becoming glass blowers because this occupation requires 15 years of apprenticeship.
After leaving Murano, we took a private boat to Venice. The afternoon itinerary included visits to Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Palace of Ducale.
[Carmen, Katie and friends at the top of St. Mark's Basilica]
However exciting, Venice is not a city known for its nightlife. After a long group dinner, we retired to our rooms, where we fell asleep to the sound of waves lapping against the boats in the nearby canal.
The next few days consisted of walking around the beautiful city. Venice definitely gave Paris a run for its money in terms of romance. Venice is a very romantic city with its canals, gondola rides, twisting streets, and bright colored buildings. We often found ourselves wishing that we had secret boyfriends with whom we could drink red wine by the pier.
Moving on from the subject of boys, we had opportunities to explore Venetian art and culture. I (Carmen) visited the Peggy Guggenhiem Museum. The museum contains Peggy Guggenhiem’s collection of art, dating from early to mid 1900s. After eight weeks of studying renaissance frescoes and altarpieces, it was a breath of fresh air to see art on a canvas. I even made a wish on Yoko Ono’s tree!
I (Katie) was very pleased with the food in Venice! I had several wonderful lunches at small family owned cafes in which I tried pizza and spaghetti. I was also able to observe part of a service at the church or St. Giovanni and Paolo on Sunday morning. Although I absolutely loved Venice, I constantly had the song “That’s Amore” playing in my head throughout the weekend. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore. When the stars seem to shine like you’ve had too much wine, that’s amore…..”
Carmen and Katie
*Katie Caffrey is a junior psychology major with a linguistics concentration from Oak Park, IL. She is currently splitting her semester abroad between Florence and London where she is studying both art history and theatre.
*Carmen Stubblefield is studying abroad in Italy and England on the ACM Arts in Context Program. She is a junior psychology major from Oregon, her favorite foods are pizza and ice-cream.