First stop Carnivale
This second week flew by. I already have a week and a half of classes under my belt and have already traveled to Venice for the weekend. Classes are going well. Even though they are two and a half hours long each they fly by, and I almost wish there was more time, because these classes are so interesting. I am fascinated by this culture everyday, it is much different than the US. Just to point out a few things. People here are very friendly and will say hi to you on the streets. All the food is locally grow and tastes very fresh. When you go out to eat the waiter or waitress does not hound you in hopes of turning over your table again, they want you to stay and enjoy your time with whoever you are with. They hold food very sacred here. Lastly, there is a much different definition of going out here. When people go out they go to pub have a drink with friends and just stand outside in the piazza’s and enjoy each others company.
To celebrate a successful first week of classes my four friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Venice for Carnivale. Carnivale is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, the day before Ash Wednesday. People dress up and wear decorative masks, it is one festival you do not want to miss out on. On Friday morning we took the two hour train ride off the main land of Venice, and joined right into the celebration. We stayed in a beautiful apartment right along side one of the many canals that connect the city, got masks, took a gondola ride and enjoyed some the local cuisine and nightlife.
Once again the beauty of this place can not be accurately described in words or photos. The weather was beautiful and sunny so a jacket was not needed during the day. It is amazing, we were only a two hour train ride from Florence and you are able to feel a difference in the atmosphere. Both beautiful cities with many similarities, but each has its own vibe. Venice is more traditional and even more peaceful than Florence. While Florence has evolved to accommodate an American tourist lifestyle, Venice does not as much. The transportation is done by boat here, and it is amazing given the narrow sizes of some of the canals how they do not crash into each other.
Day two in Venice we walked along the carnival route which takes you around the whole island along the central canal. It all leads to Piazza San Marco, a huge square where everyone gathered to take in the costumes and giant cathedral and tower. It is definitely a sight to see. I wished I could have stayed longer, but train tickets were selling out fast and we had not booked a place to stay another night.