Venice & Farewells

On Saturday, we took a train to spend the day in Venice.  I was so excited for this city.  As we were walking out of the train station, we immediately saw the Grand Canal.  It is the main “road” in Venice.  Except it’s not a road at all because all of the “roads” are water.  There are even taxis (boats of course) that can take you to different places in the city.  And there are literally no roads, only a series of sidewalks and bridges that get you from place to place.  But don’t mistakenly call it a river, the water running through the city is from the Venetian Lagoon.  The Floating City is compromised of 118 islands.  I knew that Venice was like this, but it is still so cool to see in person.

We started the day by walking around some of the winding sidewalks.  The sidewalks are definitely not your traditional sidewalks.  They are only wide enough for two or three people to walk side by side.  On each side are tall buildings with shops and apartments in them.  You could definitely get lost in the sidewalks.

We ended up at the Piazza San Marco, a huge open area in front of Saint Mark’s Basilica. Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most famous church in Venice.  The outside of the church is beautiful and very intricate.

Near Saint Mark’s Basilica is also Doge’s Palace.  It used to be the residence of the Doge of Venice, but now serves as a museum.

Near Doge’s Palace is the Bridge of Sighs.  It’s an enclosed bridge made of limestone linking Doge’s Palace to the New Prison.

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And we couldn’t leave Venice without riding a gondola.  There were gondolier’s every where!  It was clear there was a gondolier uniform too; they all wore black and white striped shirts.  It was the coolest part of the day.  We got on the gondola at the Grand Canal.  Our gondolier took us down the Grand Canal, and then into some of the smaller side “roads” off the Grand Canal.  It was a beautiful view of the city.

On Sunday, we had our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.  It was a legit five course meal that I was not anticipating.  Two different breads, five different meats, three different pastas, then two more meats, potatoes, and two desserts.  I skipped the potatoes and second portion of meat to save room for dessert.  I’ve literally never eaten so much food in my life.  I was miserably full, but when in Italy.

It has been so bittersweet saying goodbye to my new family.  I am excited to come back to America, graduate college, and see what the future holds.  But I am so sad to leave this place.  I will definitely be back some day – my host family wants to take me to southern Italy and show me all of the beautiful places I didn’t have time to see.  Italy has been home for the last three weeks, and this place and these people will always hold a little piece of my heart.

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