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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Canals, Bridges, and Boats: A Weekend in Venice

Last weekend I and some of my apartment-mates went to Venice.

On this occasion flying was less expensive than the train. After a quick hour flight we took a waterbus from the airport on the mainland across the water to Venice. We arrived to a clouded sky and fog. Despite everyone telling us we would get lost in Venice (which we later did many times) we successfully navigated to the apartment we were staying in.

Every direction I looked I was met with picturesque views and was struck by the beautiful blue-green shade of  of the water. As we walked around the boats, canals and bridges constantly reminded me of the uniqueness of Venice.

As a pedestrian city without any type of motor traffic, it was a change from the whizzing traffic of Rome. Though, the streets were still very busy and crowded with tourists. As tourism is the city’s major industry, I found Venice to often feel like a city of tourists.

As we wandered around the narrow streets, we saw many major landmarks including St. Marks Square and Basilica, Dodge’s Palace, the Realto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs, and the Grand Canale.

Saturday morning we woke up to the rain and thus decided we should go to a museum. I had previously seen posters for Ca’ Rezzonico, the museum of 18th century Venice. We marked where we thought it was on the map and began our excursion there. We soon found ourselves lost and started asking people for directions. It was initially a bit disconcerting when the first few people didn’t know where or what it was. As it continued to pour we went on a very wet, very long walking tour of Venice on a mission to find the museum. It was a good opportunity to practice our Italian through the countless people we got directions from. Eventually making it to the museum, we discovered it was in a completely different location then where we had first marked it on our maps. It offered a much needed respite from the rain.

Ca’ Rezzonico is a palazzo on the Grand Canal which had previously belonged to wealthy 17th century families. Today, among the first two floors of the museum is a display of furniture and objects, depicting the lavish interior style of the period. The top floor is dedicated to the painting collection. I found it especially nice viewing paintings of Venice in Venice, amidst the subject being shown.

Originally we went to Venice for Carnevale which lasts from January 26 to  February 12. However, the pouring rain hindered some of the outdoor activities and performances. Additionally, I gathered  many things happen the first and last weekend while we were there in the middle. Still, it was cool seeing masked and costumed people in the streets.

Despite the rain and being soaked for most of the trip my first adventure in Venice was a great experience in a delightful city.

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