Venice, Italy – Elise

During a free weekend this past semester my friends and I decided to take a trip to Venice, Italy, one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. We arrived late on Thursday night (after eleven pm) when most of the stores and restaurants were already closed. The water in the canals was pitch black and it was a lot colder than we expected, so rather than walking through the city we decided to take a vaporetto waterbus. It was so much fun! We got on the boat and it slowly made its way down the Grand Canal. We stood on the outside deck and stared at all of the beautiful buildings and canals that were passing by. This was already my favorite city! We got off the vaporetto at the Rialto Bridge, which is one of the many huge bridges crossing the Grand Canal, and walked through the dark streets to our hostel.venice2

On Friday morning we got up bright and early and went to the Piazza San Marco, which is the most famous tourist site in Venice. The Basilica di San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale are also located in the piazza, so we spent the day visiting both. Somehow water was leaking into the Basilica, so we waited in line for our tickets standing on wooden risers to keep our feet out of the water. The inside of the church was amazing, with high ceilings, gold paint, and beautiful artwork everywhere. Next, we went on a tour of the Palazzo Ducale, which was the house of the Doge, or the Duke of Venice. That night for dinner we went to a restaurant right next to a cute bridge that overlooked one of the many canals. It had a cozy fireplace, and a musician who was playing the saxophone came to our table and played for us. It was a perfect day!

venice3We woke up early on Saturday morning. It was our last full day in Venice, and wanted to go shopping and take a gondola ride through the city. We haggled with the gondolier by the canal because we wanted a ride longer than thirty minutes. Eventually he gave us a really good deal: an hour-long gondola ride for the same price! We went through many little canals and saw the Bridge of Sighs that connects the palace to the prisons and is a famous tourist site in Venice. Then we spent the rest of the day shopping for souvenirs and Murano glass, and eating traditional Italian food like gelato! It was an amazing trip and we were so sad to leave on Sunday morning. It was one of the best weekends of my life and I would love to go back someday!

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