Monday, January 25, 2016

Venezia, Italia! - January 24th, 2016

Venice is a beautiful city that I could spend days exploring and still not even cover 1/10th of the space. 

The day began by taking a bus from Florence and then jumping on a train that took us over the water to the train station that was nested right outside of Venice. 

Grand Canal
Grand Canal
I was able to explore the city throughout the whole day. My expedition was mainly on foot, with the exception of taking a trip on a water taxi along the the winding grand canal. The taxi took us to Piazza San Marco, the main town square. From there we were able to wander back through the pastel-colored streets for hours with authentic bakeries with aromas every turn we took. 

The details of the city were almost more intriguing than the main monuments. Stopping for just one second gave me more perspective of the hard work that was put into each individual building. 

I didn't know much about Venice until I saw it myself. Venice isn't as small as it seems. There are 60,000 residents who reside in the historic center. 176,000 people live in the mainland, and 31,000 live on the smaller islands. The age range of the residents surprised me as well. As of 2009, only 14% of the population is under 18 years old. Venice is filled with older, wealthy citizens, and the well-kept architecture of the houses definitely can explain why. 

Venice is made up of 117 islands, surrounded by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon. These islands connect with 409 bridges, and I probably walked across nearly all of them during my day due to exploring the whole town. 

There were no cars anywhere throughout the city. Traveling in Venice is all done by foot or by water. Gondolas are the stereotypical way to cross through town, but I learned that the more practical way of traveling is by water taxi. 

Even though the streets are old and wearing, the details of the aging adds character to the overall look of Venice. The rustic doors were on every corner and were very inspiring. 

Sometimes the absence of color on the streets intrigued me more so than the colored buildings.

Apparently Banksy is in Venice..

The streets were the aspect of the city that I will never forget. Fortunately, my friend and I got lost navigating our way to catch our train, so we had to wander the colorful, floral streets to find the way. Each building is so intricate and each block had its own unique personality within the architecture. I'm truly thankful that I experienced the city through my own eyes instead of through a tour guide's who would just be showing me the hot tourist destinations. 

Getting lost in Venice can be one of the best decisions you'll ever make because you'll get away from all of the tourist filled streets to find amazing views down unique alleyways and the most beautiful corners of the city. 

Gondola rides can be expensive (€80 or more!!) and my suggestion is to catch a water taxi which is way less expensive and the men who paddle the gondolas don't even sing to you... What a bummer...

Comparing Venice to Florence, I think I would have a difficult time becoming familiar with the challenging streets that were so hard to navigate. I expected Venice to look architecturally similar, but I was almost completely wrong. Venetian buildings have a lot of Turkish influence. The churches and museums look like Turkish mosques. 

I think that if I studied abroad in Venice, the majority of my time would be devoted to learning how to not get lost. In Florence, everything is very centralized and easy to navigate.

I was completely infatuated by Venice and I definitely will be revisiting in April when my friend from home comes to visit me in Florence. Get ready for more pictures from my perspective of Venice when the flowers are blooming and the temperatures are rising! I can't wait to get lost on these streets all over again. 

Pick of the Day! - January 25th, 2016

Pick of the Day! - January 25th, 2016