The Floating City

  I arrived in northern Italy by train on January 2nd. My friend Stefano, who lived in Thiene, invited me to come for a couple of weeks before my semester in a Florence started, and so I made my way over. Stefano and his family were fantastic, and were patient while I slowly started to remember how to use my Italian (it had been half a year) while showing me some of the ins and outs of Italian culture. My topic that prevaded with any new Italian I met were takes of the infamous Berlusconi (for more info take a look at any Italian news site). During my stay, Stedano invited me to eat dinner with his parents (loads of fun to talk to), a trip up to the snowy Asiago mountains, and a day trip to Venice!

   Venice in early January is pretty slow when it comes to tourism, which made the trip all the better. The city was quiet, and you were able to take it it's still beauty. Canals with un disturbed emerald water that looked like the dance floor of a ballroom. The many many sides streets had so few people in them that it felt as if we were alone in the city, save for the random local on their way to work at on of the shops filled with a menagerie of Venetian masks; each with their own unique, frozen expression. And so we explored, walking down white cobbled streets, having to cross a bridges every three minutes. Oh the bridges, truly concepts born from the entanglement of art and architecture as was most of the city. Every once In a while we would see a lone Gondalire slowly maneuvering his vessel through the narrow canal creating an aftermath of ripples in the once stagnant water, humming the remnance of a song under his breath. Perhaps the most iconic image of Venice, and my favorite place in the city, was the harbor. Due to it being a low tourist season, the ocean-worn docks held a squadron of blue vessels, bobbing with the occasional wave from the windswept sea while awaiting the return of their masters. And so ended our leisurely tour of the floating city, hopefully to remain floating until my next visit. 

Travelers List
What to pack? Good walking shoes.
Money? They use the Euro, take enough for various trinkets and Venitian masks. Warning! Gondola rides are NOT cheap!
What to take on a day out? Walking shoes and a camera are the big ones. Art supplies if you plan to sketch! 
Danger? Umm... Don't fall in the canal. Presumably bad things happen. 
When to Go? Carnival is in February for those who like a party, for those who like a quiet adventure anytime during winter (besides carnival) is good. 
Must See? The moors with the blue boats! 


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