06.02.2013 | Culture and Society

This past Saturday, we hopped on a train at 4:30 in the morning and were on our way to Venice! We knew that it was going to be a pricier trip, but we also knew that it was going to be totally worth it—and it was.

First, we started off by going to some of the small shops that were around the town—believe it or not there are some small pieces of land in which there are many stores.  Venice is known for their other small island of Murano which makes blown glass.  They are also known for their masks, lace, and seafood.

After shopping around, we looked around at their market, which had many fish heads lying around and other seafood fare spread out.  There was also a fruit and vegetable market in which we decided to split a basket of strawberries—which were the best I have ever tasted.  It’s weird, because their strawberries aren’t super red or shaped very well, like a lot of ours are (due to pesticides and whatnot), but they taste like they’ve been soaked in sugar.  That’s how delicious they are.

We munched on ours while waiting for our gondola ride—a must do when in Venice!  The gondola ride was a lot of fun and I definitely had to get used to it at first (it took me a little while to relax).  Some of the waterways were very narrow and had multiple boats trying to go through at once, which was a little nerve-wracking. 

After that, we had a seafood lunch consisting of calamari and bruschetta and then we headed off to see some sites. The first thing we saw was the San Marco Basilica, which was absolutely breathtaking as the majority of the artwork is all done in mosaics—and it’s gold.  I could not believe how intricate all of the mosaic work was and it must have taken forever to create.

Next to the basilica was Doges Palace which was basically a council building and was super cool because it included dungeons and a lot of famous artwork.  It also provided us with an awesome view of the island of Murano with the statue of Venus leading to its entrance.

After having more seafood for dinner (clam linguine) and of course, some gelato, we decided to get our train tickets and return to Florence.  We had looked up train times before leaving so we knew that there would be a leaving train around 7:30.  However, when we got to the train station, we were told that the 7:30 train was from a different station—the next train would be leaving at 3:11 in the morning...This left us with a decision to make.

We had already had a super long, fun-filled day and were pretty exhausted.  But, none of us had our passports, so we really couldn’t spend the night anywhere.  Ultimately, we decided to hang out in the train station, which was extremely creepy because they cut about half of the lights and they close all of the stores and bathrooms, which was just great.  Luckily, we found a group of English speaking girls around our age to talk to and found out that they had also had the same issue with the train and were Florence bound.  We spent most of the time with them, because it helped to pass the time. And luckily when our train arrived, it was one of the ones where you could pull out the bench in order to sleep—which we all did! What a night!

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