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Sean Somers’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010

Location: Venice (Venezia), Italy

MapThis past weekend was CRAZZZZY...for those of you who didn't know, lent starts tomorrow and there is a two week period before it begins known as La Carnevale, which is this big celebration across most of Europe. It is like Mardi Gras on steroids! hahaha...but anyways...one of the most famous cities to celebrate Carnevale is Venice and since Milan is only a two and a half hour train ride from Venice...this is where about all but two people in our program spent the weekend. Needless to say it was a huge partttaaay...but Venice is a gorgeous city. When you exit the train station, you walk out right next to the Grand Canal, which runs through the middle of this island city. In Venice, you either walk or take a water taxi/gondola...there are no cars...its great! We hopped on a water taxi and took a 45 min. ride through the Grand Canal, which was really pretty because like always, I was granted amazing weather and the sun was out, blue sky...I have the best luck with weather! My friend Molly and I were laughing because when I went to London it was supposed to be rainy and foggy all weekend and then the sun came out as soon as I got there until I left and they got snow LOL...needless to say I don't really listen to weather.com anymore...I just figure wherever I go, the sun will come out...its pretty great!

As my friends and I were taking in the beauty of Venice...and I am happy to report that it did not stink like I thought it would! I think it is because it is still winter and so the sun doesnt really cook up any bad smells but I was pleasantly surprised since I have a sensitive nose and usually pick up on these things. I never did find my hostel...but I ended up staying with a friend on their floor...it was more cost-efficient anyways...and not like I slept much anyways...even if I had wanted to...the people did not sleep that weekend...there were people outside our room on the streets screaming in italian until the wee hours of the night. It was awesome! Well, after finally finding a hotel that had vacancy for my friends (never reserve anything from hotels.com) LONG STORY...we went out to dinner and then walked the streets for a bit. While we were out admiring the costumes and the masks, we met up with some other people from our program and some fun italians from Naples (Napoli). We met Fulvio (he really liked my friend Ellen and was jealous that I was linking arms with her) but as soon as he found out I wasn't her boyfriend, I became his instant best friend. We are now facebook buds...and it was fun meeting him and his cousins because I got to practice italian and for the most part was able to continue speaking it...which is always so rewarding haha...but maybe it was the drink from dinner...you can't say I didn't try though ;)

The next day we explored Venice some more and got ourselves some Carnevale masks!! (Pictures were posted) It was fun walking through the different districts of Venice, but San Marco was the one we enjoyed most. Most of the Carnivale action occurred here and Sat. night we went to a concert here hosted by no other than...Big Mike...yea it was like an Italian trying to be 50 cent...HIGHLY entertaining! The best part was that we got to dance on stage...ok the stage was no bigger than a full sized bed...but still! haha...

One thing I did discover about Venice while I was there was that it is currently one of Italy's candidates for the 2020 olympics. Just recently, the country decided to choose Venice over Rome as its choice for a candidate city. Most of us were wondering how the heck they would be able to pull it off since it is a relatively small island. Supposedly, they are planning to use the surrounding islands as well as the coastal cities along the coast. Now, it seems a little more feasible. However, now that I have been there I probably jynxed (did I spell that right?) their chances. Let's see...I was in France when it was going for the 2012 olympics...it lost. I live in Chicago...it lost 2016. Now, I visited Venice, but it will probably lose too. However! If they ever want nice weather...just give me a call haha.

Overall, Venice was a very neat city and quite beautiful. I would go back...however it is small enough that it can easily be covered in 2 days. Ho bisogno di fare i miei compiti ora, ma non posso aspettare per la mia prossima avventura! Ciao :)