As I’m typing this, I’m sucking on a spoonful of Nutella trying to figure out where I want to visit next while simultaneously putting off the pile of readings I need to do for the upcoming week. Ouch. I’m only a week into the semester, and I’m trying to figure out how to best manage my time because 10 pages of reading auf Deutsch takes me about ten times longer than normal. In the midst of my ever-growing stack of homework, I’ve been ogling my photos from Venice once again because pictures of gondolas make everything better.
Around this time two weeks ago (two weeks already??) I was standing in the midst of Italy’s most famous sinking city: Venice. After a short teaser post with some of my favorite photos, I figured I should probably just dish out the goods and share my days in Venice with you. As in the rest of the cities I visited, I stayed in an AirBNB spot in Venice, and man did I luck out with this one. My hosts were so sweet, and I woke up every morning to a freshly baked loaf of bread waiting to be devoured for breakfast. My first night in Venice I was told that I had to try grappa, which is the strongest liquor I’ve ever had. My esophagus was warm for almost 30 minutes after I drank some.
After a lovely breakfast my first morning, I was in no rush to find any particular sight in the city. After winding my way around countless side streets and getting fairly lost along the way (only in Venice does a dead end mean running into a canal), I found Piazza San Marco, the center of the city. I first went into St. Mark’s Basilica, and was amazed by the gold mosaics covering the church from floor to ceiling. I tried taking pictures inside, but my photos didn’t really turn out because the walls were literally glowing from the hints of sunlight peeking in through the windows. A word to the wise: wear clothing that covers your knees and shoulders when you visit St. Mark’s. They are very strict about this!
After the basilica, I of course had to visit the Doge’s Palace, which is also in Piazza San Marco. I initially hesitated to buy a ticket to the palace because the price was 17 Euros; however, this ticket is good for three other museums on the square and they are each worth a visit. The ticket is good for a few months (!!!) so you can take your sweet time visiting each museum.
The Doge’s Palace was one of my favorite museums I visited in Italy. If any of you have visited the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, it’s sort of like that, only much smaller in scale. Visitors get to see the various state rooms in the palace and learn more about the role the Doge played in the Venetian state as well as see where the Councils of Ten and Forty met (kind of like our modern day Senate…only not). Even if you’re not a history lover, you’re sure to enjoy this museum as there’s more to see than just artifacts behind plexi-glass. Oh, and side note: the ceilings here are ah-mazing. Each room looks like someone put gilded frames on the ceiling and then painted in between the lines. I had a crick in my neck after my tour from looking up so much.
The next day I visited the other museums included on my joint museum ticket, all of which are in the same building as the Correr Museum, which showcased imperial rooms used throughout Venetian history, including the rooms of Austrian Princess Sisi. After admiring more beautifully preserved rooms in the Correr Museum, I made my way through the adjoining museums, the Archaeology Museum and the remaining rooms of the National Library.
Although I spent some quality time in Venice’s museums, I have to say that what I loved best about this city is that there’s no real need to do anything. The city is its own attraction, and you can spend a full day just walking around and window shopping (and eating gelato).
Okay, now it’s feedback time. I’m beginning to think about my next trip and would love your input. I’m currently living in Freiburg, Germany and am wanting to do a weekend trip somewhere. Any thoughts? And let me know what you think of Venice as well; I love hearing back from you guys!