I took Italian for two semesters but I am in no way fluent. Not even close. However, I’ve always had an adoration for the country, its culture, and especially its art. Taking the DIS Venice class, therefore, was an absolute no brainer. The chance to study Venice and Venetian art? And travel to Venice? Absolutely sold.
I left for the sparkling city the day after returning from my Czech trip (you can read about that here) and spent four days visiting artwork and buildings I had only seen in photographs in a classroom. For four days I was in a constant state of awestruck.
As most people know, Venice is sinking. Each year the buildings submerge farther and farther. Some church towers are no longer standing straight and during rainy seasons waist-high rain boots are in style. Before making the trip our professors showed us a very sad documentary stating that Venetians are actually leaving their city. Their leaving actually has less to do with the city’s impending doom and more to do with the giant cruise ships and the flock of tourists that make the city almost unbearable. The city is now almost entirely dependent on visitors that the only jobs for Venetians are in the tourist industry. My advice if you actually want to experience Venice: stay on the island and avoid peak season. Most people only scratch the surface of Venetian culture and rarely make it outside of St. Mark’s Square.
I’ve always thought that Copenhagen is a quiet city so I hardly noticed that there weren’t any cars in Venice. Let me say that again: there are absolutely no cars in Venice. It seems like such an obvious fact but I was still shocked when my professor commented on it. Everything is done via boat. Need to move our stuff out of the city? Call the guy with the biggest boat. Need to go to the emergency room? There’s a boat ambulance for that. There are even gondolas for when you want to serenade your lover. Or have an Italian sing things such as ‘spaghetti’ or ‘coca cola’ in his dreamy Italian accent.
Venice was an absolute dream and I truly hope this post and these photos show you that.