Italian Adventures: Venice

It's hard to believe it but four months from today I will be on a flight home. That's a bittersweet thought. But these last four months promise to be fun and adventure filled! I'm hoping for a trip or two over to the UK and I still have a city I would like to visit here in France. Plus school is going to start in another two weeks, in that time another group of international students will take up residence in Poitiers. I can't wait to make some new friends!

Enough talk about the future. Time to talk about the past. Well, the past week anyway.

Italy. Oh Italy. A week was not enough. The country is gorgeous. The people are nice. The food, well I'm still not a huge fan of pasta, but the pizza was great! Oh and gelato; let's not forget the heavenly creation called gelato. The sea and the mountains! It was an amazing birthday adventure!

I started my week in Venice. I flew from Paris to the Marco Polo airport which is actually located on the mainland. From there I took a water bus to the island where my hostel was located, Giudecca; it was right across a small channel from Venice proper. That boat ride alone was worth traveling there. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

There are many small islands around Venice.
This is what a taxi in Venice looks like.
One of the many lagoons.
Piazza San Marco at sunset. 
After settling into my hostel, I walked down to a pizza place, ordered some, and took it outside to watch the sun set over the water.

The next morning I met a new friend, whom I'll call L. We were both asking for information on the water bus passes. After discovering we were in the same dorm room, L invited me to go with her to some of the surrounding islands. It was one of the best decisions I made the whole trip! Now only was she fantastic - we both shared a love of photography - the islands we saw, Murano and Burano, were just as gorgeous, if not more so, than Venice itself.

Enjoying Murano!
The colorful houses of Burano.
Murano is famous for it's glass-works. Burano is famous for it's lace. We got to see some of both and wander around slightly less crowed streets.

Around mid-afternoon we took a boat back to the hostel for a short break before going to Venice. We stopped at Piazza San Marco first. When the water bus made it to the dock, the worker announced we had arrived by calling out "Marco, Marco!" It made me want to shout "Polo!"

The piazza itself was big, but I was a little less impressed than I thought I'd be. After we'd taken a few pictures, L and I wandered a bit further into the island to get away from the crowds. We stopped and tried cannoli and gelato. We went into some of the shops. And we took lots of pictures. The island with it's beautiful houses, canals, boats, and colors just begs to be photographed.

Piazza San Marco
A gondolier with his gondola!
A city on the water!
Sunset over the Giudecca Lagoon.
We saw Marco Polo's house. It was an accident actually. We were just enjoying the view from one of the many arched bridges over canals in Venice when a gondolier passed underneath and told his passengers to look up. Surprise!

Plaque on the building.
The house.
After dinner and chatting with another girl from our dorm we turned in a bit early so we could get out again the next morning. More exploring of Venice, including the Grand Canal was on the agenda the next day.

Grand Canal!
Noon and my train came all too quickly, but another adventure awaited! Next time, I'll tell you all about Florence and Pisa!

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