A Trip to Venice
Kelsie, Florence, Spring 2012
March 26, 2012

The third week in February, Mother Nature started to give us a break from the snow. Monday-Wednesday is crazy and exhausting for me. I have over 7 and a half hours of classes straight on Monday and a little less Tuesday and Wednesday. However, my classes here are so interesting. I am SO glad that I waited to take a history course until I came over here because my History of the Italian Renaissance class is so cool. Not only because the material is interesting, but because everything we learn about in class happened RIGHT HERE. We spend half the class lecturing and the second half going to see the place we talked about earlier in class. That is the way classes should be taught, I am learning so much more than I would if I were taking this class at home.

On Thursday, two friends and I climbed the Duomo di Firenze. It took 463 steps to get to the top, it was quite the workout. The view from the top was more than breathtaking. My friend Jenna and I actually teared up. At that moment, I fell in love with Florence. We spent over an hour up there taking pictures and sitting there in awe.

Saturday was a day I had been looking forward to for a while. I woke up extremely early and headed to VENICE for Carnevale! Carnevale is the Italian version of Mardi Gras and Halloween. I took a three hour bus ride there with a big group of friends. It took a little while to figure out the waterbus system, but we finally did it and we headed off to the island of Murano.

Murano is famous for their glassblowing, so the first thing we did when we arrived was see a demonstration. It was really cool to watch them made these beautiful glass pieces in a matter of minutes. After the “show” we all bought some souvenirs and walked around the town for a little bit. Our next destination was Burano. This town is famous for it’s colorful buildings. I hope I get to go back there because it was the coolest little town. My descriptions cannot do these places justice, you really have to see them with your own eyes. Even some of the boys I went with got teared up when we saw this place. It was so beautiful.

Our last destination was the main land, Piazza San Marco in particular. This is where the main festival is. Mind you, the entire day, everyone is in costumes and extravagant masks. We all spent a lot of time trying to find the right mask. They were sort of expensive BUT we all wanted the authentic, handcrafted in Venezia ones. It was money well spent, I am going to keep mine forever. After some wandering, (if you haven’t noticed, that’s pretty much the only way I find any of these places) we found the Piazza. There was a concert, dancing, food, alcohol, millions of masks, and insane costumes. It was a really cool scene, we hung out there for a while until it was time to get back on the bus and head back to Florence.

I would really like to go back to Venice and see the city without all the craziness. I am so glad I got to experience Carnevale but there was a lot of focus on that and I would like to go see the city and explore the canals without the craziness. There was literally a canal and bridge every block or so, it was SO COOL. Maybe I can take Mama Stan when she comes to visit !

Kelsie – University of South Carolina

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