One of many joys of being in Europe for an Exchange prgoram is the opportunity to travel to different cities, towns, countries (even contients). With a small or reasonable amount of money and in a short amount of time, everything from trains, planes and buses make it accessible to travel Europe. Although Innsbruck the town itself is less accessible by air by most of the budget airlines, it is a platform for easy rail travel.
On Friday, before classes ended, instead of asking each other “What are you doing for the weeknd”, my friends would ask me, “Where are you traveling this weekend?!” The perspective on travel is differet, not a one-time big-trip deal, but a lifestyle.
So the weekend came around, and I ceazed the opportunity to go to Italy taking a direct train (with OBB the Austrian rail company). I arrvied in Venice (Venizia) in the late afternoon and I was transported from the quiet mountain town to a busy city with cobblestone roads with colourful and old looking buildings along the water. For a moment I had to ask myself, is this the real Venice? And not a park in Disneyland or the shopping mall in Las Vegas or Macau. It was lightly raining on the first day we arrived, but the sun showed up bright and early the next morning and we were welcomed with some Italian sunshine!
Here are the highlights and photos from my weekend in Venice.
I’m almost embarrassed at the amont of gelato I consumed over the weekend. While the pasta, pizza, cakes and pasteries were quite good – it was the gelato I was most happy about!
In the evening after having dinner we came across an opera venue that was selling tickets for an opera concert that was just about to start. We decided to go, just for the experience! It was my first opera concert and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. While the image of sitting for two hours having someone sing to you at the top of their lungs sounds maybe not so pleasant.. it was incredibly impressive. I would actually recommend it! The concert wasn’t all opera singing and there were many breaks with performances by ochestra.
The next morning I was greeted by the warmth of the Italian sun! While I hear the summer months of July and August get “unbearable” hot and humid, when I went over the weekend in May, it was just the right temperature for a dress.
I purchased a 24 hour pass for Venice’s vaporetto, or water buses which are the public transportation of Venice. Vaporetti take visitors along the main canals, to the islands, and around the lagoon. Although it was usually crowded, they are the least expensive way to get around (other than walking) and if you travel further out, you’ll find yourself at the back of the boat (like I did) enjoying view of the colourful buildings pass by you.
I happened to be in Venice during the time an annual race and many traditions take place. The first rowing races date back to the middle of the thirteenth century! In a place like Venice which much of its identity comes from the sea, such a race has strong historical meaning. This rowing race is over 32km, from Bacino di San Marco to Burano and back along the Tre Archi Canal and the Grand Canal to the salute Church.
I took some time to wander San Maco square and then sit by the shores and watch the boats and gondolas pass by me on the water.
It was a long a full day, but I have even more to share soon with a day trip to Murano Island!