I have been majorly slacking on my blog posting. To be honest, I got stuck on Venice and then I became way too busy traveling. Venice is tricky for me to write about because I have such mixed emotions. I have been in Venice for a total of 10 days now; five of them were wonderful and five of them, not so much.
My first piece of advice is that if you plan on traveling to Venice, do it in the spring! Avoid summer because there are way too many tourists. I have traveled to Venice both in the spring and fall; my spring experience in Venice for the Iowa State North Field Trip, was by far the best. In the fall, Venice floods and is beautiful, but unless you want to be cold and rained on everyday, I would recommend a spring visit.
Our class took the high-speed rail from Rome to Venice. Our first day was spent exploring the Doges Palace and the Olivetti showroom by Scarpa. You can tell just by looking at Scarpa’s work that he had an immaculate eye for detail.
Our class rented three private boats to take us to Venice’s surrounding islands. We packed lunches containing sandwiches and wine and headed out to explore. We learned a bit about each island and then had a chance to sketch and wander. Each island had its own unique charm. One of my favorite islands was Murano, the glass blowing island. Every store front contained beautiful hand blown glass ranging from one euro to thousands.
The only negative experiences during the spring trip were the horrible vaporetto drivers. Since Venice is made up of canals and alleys, the public transit consists of vaporetto (boat busses). Typically, the drivers are quite amazing at handling a ship. For some reason, I happened to get on the ones with the worst drivers. On the way to dinner, the boat was approaching one of the main stops by San Marco and seemed to be entering at a strange angle. Sure enough, the boat rammed into the stop, t-boning it and knocking people over both on the stop and already on the boat. It took a good five minutes of reversing and straightening to get the boat in the right position for passengers to disembark. Luckily, no one was hurt, but it was actually pretty scary.
Overall, Venice is a truly wonderful place and worth seeing. Just don’t stay too long and be prepared to feel like you are still on the water for a week after.
After this post, I plan on continuing my blogging back in the states to catch up on the adventures I have missed and add to the adventures I will have back home. Thanks for reading (: