Monday, March 4, 2013

My Venetian Romance...with the city and food.

Every semester, USAC takes students on a weekend trip to see other parts of Italy. Last semester, the students went to Cinque Terre. This past weekend, we went to Venice and stopped for a few hours on the way in Verona. I want to try the main food speciality of everyplace I visit, and in Verona it was horse meat. So, of course I had to try it. It was ground up on pasta and it tasted slightly different than beef, but it wasn't bad at all. With that said, I  don't know if I would try it again anytime soon. More famously, Verona is known for being the location of Romeo and Juliet's romance.

You'd try it, right?
We arrived in Venice once the sun had set, but I fell in love immediately. Venice is one of the cities for me that I just can't believe actually exists. After watching so many movies with scenes set along the canals, I felt like Venice was a movie set. One of the biggest complaints of Venice that I've heard is that it is smelly and dirty. I still had a cold while visiting, so I wasn't bothered by any stench. Most big cities are a bit smelly and dirty, and Venice isn't an exception, so I don't think those annoyances are any reason to avoid this city, which really took my breath away.

USAC organized a walking tour for us where we visited San Marco, the biggest piazza, and walked through the streets, ending up at the Rialto bridge. We were free of the day, and I managed to get lost by my self for the whole afternoon. I usually pride myself in being able to follow directions and being able to get around a city, but Venice was the most disorienting city I have ever tried to walk. I went down a street, I was hoping would take me right, and I kept walking in the direction I believed to be the one to take me back to my hotel, but somehow, after three hours I managed to end up in the same place I started. But, I am glad that I did get lost. I got to see more of the residential, less touristy parts of Venice and I would have kept walking until my legs fell off, just to experience the city farther. For dinner, I unknowingly ordered Pasta in squid ink sauce. It was black and salty, but I happily wiped my plate clean of the famous Venetian dish.

We also had some time to explore the next morning, and I decided to visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum, which it the collection of personal paintings and sculptures of Peggy Guggenheim. Of course, I got lost again, but for a shorter amount of time, and I felt so proud when I made it to the building. For the 8 euro cost, I don't personally feel like it was worth it, but if you are a fan of modern art, I would definitely go.

Erin took two boats while in Venice, one to the other islands, and a gondola. If I had more time in the city and the weather was nice, I think I would have taken those journeys as well. But I liked discovering the city by foot.
Sculptures bassed off of Picasso's sketches
at the Peggy Guggenheim museum 

A bit of the flood in Venice

San Marco

I searched all afternoon to find this pastry after spotting it on the tour
The Tetrarchs (I had an art history nerd freakout when I saw these)

St. Mark's Basilica

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