Spring Break Part 2 - Venice, Italy

Selina Donahue
March 30, 2016
The Venice Grand Canal

A hop, skip, and a jump later, and we are in Venice! We take a water taxi to the stop nearest our AirB&B, a nauseating experience I would like not to repeat. A lovely woman named Miss Desirée is sent to bring us to our apartment, and we wearily carry our luggage up five flights of stairs, through a locked gate and three locked doors. Oh boy.

The apartment is very nice, and we settle in. Shortly after we set out for dinner, at a highly rated pizzeria that gifts us with delicious slices for very little money. Emily and I wander along the Big Canal, walking over the Rialto Bridge, and checking out the many shops scattered all over. 

The first photo I took in Venice, of the buildings along the Grand Canal. I love how colorful the buildings were, and how the water consistently compliments all that it surrounded. 

The view of a small canal right by our AirB&B

The view seen by the edge of the land, near Doge's Palace

San Marco Square

Basilica di San Marco

The views from the Basilica terrace

We got gelato of course!

A yummy breakfast, with the classic Nutella crêpe

Dinner was usually pizza from the best rated (and cheap) places found on TripAdvisor, though the last night we had pasta from this hipster take-away place called Dal Moro's. The pasta was served al dente, which I hadn't actually had before. I would definitely recommend coming here for dinner one night.

Doge's Palace was built in the Venetian Gothic style which I am quite a fan of. The palace was non-stop gold gilded ceilings and larger oil paintings depicting political scenes in obscure ways. There was a huge room that could have been a ballroom, but I believe was used more politically. It was called the “Scudo” Room, and apparently was used as a reception room. I feel like I walked room to room, each and every one basically a Chamber in some way. They were all adorned with gold and had intricate paintings along their walls and ceilings.

Highlights included The Golden Stairway, and walking through the Bridge of Sighs after seeing the New Prisons. There was even a medieval weapons section, which had some very pretty... well, weapons. Engraved guns and fancy spears. Not my area of expertise, but very fun to look at. 

Doge's Palace courtyard

The Golden Stairway

A chamber room in Doge's Palace

The "Scudo" Room

Some interesting weapons

View from the inside of the Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs from the outside

I got to go to the Venice Academy Gallery Museum of Art which was very interesting. This art museum had pieces, primarily paintings, from the 13th to the 18th Century. Very exciting for me was seeing Banquet in the House of Levi by Paolo Caliari Detto Paolo Veronese, which is a piece I remember studying briefly in high school. The piece was much bigger than I expected, covering an entire wall.  The proportions of some figures were a bit funny, with seemingly adult humans being portrayed very small in the foreground.

There was a section of the museum focused on Jheronimus Bosch, and I got to see some of his pieces including the Santa Liberata Triptych and Visions of the Hereafter. The exhibit also included information on their restorations, which are quite fascinating to me.

At the end of the museum there was an exhibit showing old books, with their calligraphy, classic printing, and illustrations. I saw the Divine Proportions page by Luca Pacioli which I enjoyed looking at. The whole concept of the “divine proportion” is fascinating, as it can be used in the human body, with architecture, and letters of the Latin alphabet.

Banquet in the House of Levi

Outside of the Basilica del Santissimo Redentore

So fair warning, gondola rides are expensive, at least for the standards of two struggling college students. If you go to Venice, try to split up the price with as many people as you can. Despite the price, we couldn’t not go on a gondola ride while in Venice, and I have to say I’m very glad I had that experience. Gliding between the streets of Venice was very peaceful, and it was so beautiful to see all these old buildings surrounded by sparkling green water. Our driver took us out to the main Canal, we went under Riolto bridge, and twisted back into the smaller streets. We also briefly passed by the house of Marco Polo, and one of the 120 churches in Venice. 

And lastly, Venice at night.

Venice was beautiful and I hope to return some day soon. After such traveling fun I was pretty tired, and very glad to return to Vienna to meet up with my parents and have a full tourist-y week. Who knows, maybe I'll write about it. Until next time!

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Selina Donahue

<p>Selina is a Junior Studio Art Major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She enjoys long walks in the halls of art museums, eating too many cupcakes, and absorbing the world around her to feed as inspiration for all her creative endeavors. Her specialties lie in taking too many pictures and expressing joy over the little things. Selina is excited to share the beauty she sees all over Vienna during her stay with all who hop on over to her little blog!</p>

2016 Spring
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