Weekend In Venice

Posted on January 22nd, 2013 by

On January 18th the group traveled by train from Florence to the town of Venice. At approximately 8:30 a.m. the train departed from the train station and began the three-hour journey through the countryside and mountains. The weather was not rainy, after continuous rainfall for several days, but partly cloudy and calm. Numerous group members decided to sleep on the train since it was an early train ride, while others passed the time looking at magazines or playing card games with others. After the long journey the Gustavus group made it safely to Venice and unloaded from the train and gazed at all the boats driving by and all the stunning buildings.


From the train station Betsy, Matt, and the students took a boat ride the Grand Canal from the train station to our hotel. After dropping off the luggage and freshening up we all met and took a tour of San Marco, the large piazza and main church of Venice, situated only five minutes from our hotel. We toured the city till it was time to go to dinner as a group at a small family owned restaurant. They served all types of food ranging from simple pasta to seafood with squid ink-dyed noodles. Everyone enjoyed their meal, laughed and joked around till the server finally brought the bill. To everyone’s knowledge we were all going on a gondola ride after dinner, but we were misled about hours of operation and by the time we reached the gondola pier, it was closed.


On Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. the group walked to visit the Santa Maria Glorioso Dei Frari and the Santa Maria della Salute. In these two churches we saw famous paintings by Titian and Bellini and also a statue of St. John the Baptist by Donatello. The weather was overcast and cloudy most of the day, but a relief that no rain fell. The students were allowed to have the rest of the night to go explore the city and enjoy the nightlife. Sunday consisted of a free day for the students, who got to pick a place that they wanted to see. Some chose to go to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit that was being displayed, while others took a boat taxi to the island of Murano. Murano is a small island where they create elaborate pieces of blown glass. The only condition the students had that day was to be back at the hotel promptly at 4:45 p.m.


After a long weekend filled with many adventures, the group reconvened back at the hotel and departed by boat back up the Grand Canal to the train station. The train departed at 6:30 p.m. and arrived in Florence around 9:00 p.m. One of the main topics that was brought up and conveyed in a student led discussion the following day was comparing and contrasting the cities of Venice and Florence. Many topics were talked about, but some of the main ideas were: Eastern influence in Venice, the type of media used in paintings, the architecture of the buildings, how they were a port city, and many more. The weekend to Venice was a great trip for everyone and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, but that is all for now. See you in the next blog.



The Students, Betsy, and Matt




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