After getting to know the nine others within my SAI group, we finally made it on a trip together sponsored by SAI. We went to Venice the weekend of March 13-15. As always the trip was full of amazing food, beautiful weather and sightseeing. We met at the train station bright and early Friday morning around 7:45 so the train ride was good enough time to sleep before our day in Venice. As I woke up, I looked to the windows of the train and realized we were surrounded by water meaning we were coming close! From that moment, I already knew I was going to love Venice.
As we soon found out, the only transportation in Venice is on water, so there aren’t any cars there. This is one thing I loved about the city. After we got off the train, we took a water taxi to our hostel (my first time staying at one), which happened to be super nice. After, we explored San Marco, which is the main square or city center where we wandered around and found a small restaurant for lunch then of course got some gelato. Doing souvenir shopping was fun, as I soon realized that the stores sold a lot of glass, masquerade masks, and paintings. All of it was very pretty and I loved the city more every minute.
That night for dinner, we met back up as a group for dinner. It was an early dinner, as it was at 7 pm (early for Italians). We started with an appetizer of salad then ate what we thought was our main course, seafood spaghetti. Halfway chowing down on this, Claudia, our program coordinator reminded us that this was only the first course! We still had fish and potatoes and dessert coming for us. So overall night one was a great feast.
The second day we explored the islands of Venice which are Murano and Burano. Murano is known for glass and Burano is known for lace. Both were beautiful. Murano had a lot of small stores with glass souvenirs. Burano is very small but it was the bright colors of the buildings that I loved most about this island. While we were in Burano, we watched the sunset and it was so serene and pretty. That night for dinner, we went to a restaurant near our hostel which happened to be a pretty entertaining/fulfilling experience. Our appetizer was a plate full of meat then our main course was the best lasagna I have ever had. We were supposed to have one dessert but since the waiter loved us so much he offered us a sampler plate of four desserts, all of which were amazing! After dinner, things got a little fun and the waiters and workers let us play our music and dance after all of the other guests left. It was a fun night to say the least.
Our last day in Venice, we of course did a gondola ride. I loved it! Next, we went into Doge’s palace that was filled with so many beautiful gold ceilings and walls and then we had a tour of St. Mark’s clock tower. One thing that I didn’t know was that this was the second most famous clock tower in the world, after Big Ben. From the top we could see the view of Venice but it was interesting to me that we couldn’t see any of the water in between the buildings from the view. Overall, Venice was a beautiful city with many things to see (and eat). I love being in places near the water and the fact that Venice is on the water made it one of my favorite places to visit so far in Italy.
Elena is a current student at University of Missouri studying at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan, Italy during the Sprig 2015 term.