All You Need is..a Venetian Mask

Natalie Clark
February 25, 2014

A few weeks ago (note: I used the word “weeks”) I got a friendly little reminder from IES about a Valentine’s Day blog. I chuckled and moved on with my life..and then my second reminder came a week later asking me to talk about what I love about Siena or how I’d be spending the holiday. I took the two emails as a hint that they were really jazzed about Valentine’s Day. While IES was really excited, I was a little sad to be reminded of the fact that I’m away from both my home and my school on a day focused on the people you love (I promise, this is the only time I’ll be whiney in this post). It also reminded me that I’m no longer in second grade and I can’t say I spent my day decorating my Valentine’s Day box, getting lots of candy, and picking out the perfect card to give to all the boys in my class (because no one wants the social suicide of actually giving a second grade boy a card asking them to be your Valentine). Ugh. Life is hard. I’m teasing, of course.


The “Italian Boyfriend” is a joke that gets made a lot in Siena. Dana even set a goal for herself to find one by the 14th of February..And although she didn’t find one, I’m still not convinced I won’t find her dancing around the Campo singing this song. Watch out boys…


Instead of being home or finding an Italian Boyfriend, however..I went to Venice! And I’m happy to say this trip had much happier results than our trip to Rome. Yes, that means not getting my wallet stolen. Progress.


This wasn’t just any weekend in Venice, though. It was the start of Carnevale..or as I like to call it, “You can wear Venetian Masks and still be considered a socially acceptable human being.” I’m all in for any chance I get to wear a mask (which isn’t very often). We got into Venice late Friday afternoon and spent the rest of the day walking around the city and drooling. Which was probably due to the fact that it was a beautifully sunny Valentine’s Day.






That night we went out to dinner with some of Christine’s friends from Fordham (who we also stayed with for the weekend). We found a new love for price fixed menus while in Venice. Two courses, wine, and dessert? I’m in.

The special fixed menu for Valentines Day

Saturday we spent the day going on a tour of the islands near Venice..including Murano and Burano. We toured Murano, famous for its glass, first. We watched a man hand blow and shape a vase and a small horse out of glass. Sadly I was sandwiched behind a tall man (does it make sense that the man over 6 feet placed himself in front of the girl who is 5’2? No. But I digress..) and couldn’t get any pictures of the process. I did, however, get pictures on the island of Burano, known for making lace. And in my humble opinion, Burano was a tad more fun to look at anyway.

See what I mean?

After touring the islands we headed back to Venice to participate in all of the Carnevale festivities. While I can’t really explain exactly what Carnevale is…I can tell you that it’s a big celebration in Venice that lasts about a month. It originally began as a festival/feast before the giving up of meat (carne). Hmmm, sound like Mardis Gras to anyone? We donned our masks and headed out to watch a night parade and then hang out with some friends.


The IES Crew!
Sporting our Wofford colored masks

Our Weekend in Venice was by far my favorite since being in Italy. It felt so peaceful being on the water all weekend and it was incredibly exciting to get to be a part of the Carnevale celebrations. One of my favorite moments from the weekend was getting a cute Valentine’s day picture of a pug (as mentioned in a previous blog post, I have a strange love of pugs) from both my sister and one of my best friends, Molly. The exact same picture. I guess I’m a little predicable when it comes to what I love.


And to finish off…here are some pictures from the weekend that I absolutely LOVE and just couldn’t help not to share them with you.





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Natalie Clark

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! My name is Natalie Clark and I go to college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I&#39;m an English major with Creative Writing and Gender Studies concentrations. While I love my hometown in Arkansas, I&#39;ve also gotten really into traveling since starting college (as one would assume, considering the fact that I&#39;m studying abroad) and I can&#39;t wait to explore while I&#39;m in Italy...okay, okay...and eat a lot of pasta.</span></p>

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