Venice (the City Built on Water) — First Night

I signed up for AIFS’s (American Institute for Foreign Study) Venice weekend trip.We departed on Friday morning by charter bus, stopped in Verona, and then arrived in Venice. The trip includes two nights in a hotel, and a return by train on Sunday. It’s like a road made of water. We took a boat to our hotel.

I got a window seat and poked my camera out the window — first view of the city.
My adorably unexpected room in the Hotel Belle Arti. (Those are two beds. I roomed with Elizabeth V., my regular roommate in Florence). This room made me so happy. Honestly, if I had redecorated my room immediately after our Venice weekend it may have ended up something like this one (which may or may not be a good thing haha).
Also, cool room key!
There are bridges everywhere! Small canals here function like little streets. Bridges arch over them around the entire city. Each time you cross a bridge, you cross onto another tiny island. Venice was built upon a bog — long wooden stakes were driven into the ground, and this petrified wood serves as the foundations for the city on water, Venice. (All learned from the tour given by a Venetian guide the following morning).
Murano, a bunch of islands included in the Venetian Lagoon, is famous for its glasswork. I regret not visiting colourful Murano while in Venice, it’s very close by and reachable by the vaporetto, the water bus. Some of the other students went though. Kat L., my other Florence roommate bought a pretty Murano glass ring.
 A store.
Elizabeth and I just followed the blue lights. I was so excited to see some of the city, what I thought was a small portion of Venice. More on this later.
Very cute squid Pope. Maybe I should make a street art page on this blog. Some of my classmates were disappointed by the amount of graffiti in Venice.
The buildings look like they’re floating on water.
Me, picture by roomie Elizabeth V. 

The view down off of one of the large bridges near the hotel.
A vaporetto is a water bus. Visible here are a vaporetto and station. We received 48 hour vaporetto passes. You board the floating station after validating your ticket, then wait for a bus to show up/check the bus schedule. Instead of keeping to right or left sides of the river, the vaporettos chug along drunkenly from one side of the canal to the other to make stops. They seem slow, but can be a surprisingly quick way to get around, and a fast way of getting home.
Tips for Venice:
  • Validate your ticket every single time you use the water bus/vaporetto. You can get a fine of at least 52 euros if you’re found without one.
  • Plan on seeing Murano!

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