Our tour guide and program leader, a hilarious man named Frederico, put on The Tourist (which takes place in Venice) to get us cultured.
|great hills for sledding|
The countryside between Florence and Venice was absolutely beautiful, but then again, so is Angelina Jolie (back to the Tourist).
After a frightening/hilarious incident where the bus driver tried to take us down under an overpass and completely scratched and damaged the roof of the bus but still attempted to make it while it sounded like the ceiling was caving in, eventually resorting to backing out while the scraping pierced our ears, we ran to the Santa Lucia station to catch our train into the heart of Venice.
|I'm coming for you my love|
|our fearless co-captain|
|hello my pretties|
|goofy and unashamed (ok a little ashamed)|
|I'm actually walking on water|
|definitely an important building|
It was a bit irksome because each water taxi seated 12 and my roommate and I somehow got split up into the taxi with your typical college girls (see: ashamed selfie).
|i h8 college girls|
Nevertheless, we disembarked shortly and were on our way!
Behold, Piazza San Marco!
|grossly obese birds|
|very cool architecture though|
|tourists, tourists everywhere|
I don't think I got a picture of it but Frederico informed us that the stacked-up table-looking things were "runways" for when there is high tide and/or flooding, so that the people can continue on their way! He said we all become models then.
Here is the front of St. Mark's Basilica, where there are (replicas of) the horses from the Sack of Constantinople! Enjoy, mom:
|selfie stick, anyone?|
|minor facial distortions, but you get the picture|
|the neverending story (of construction)|
|I annoy even myself|
And of course, a selfie with the horses to make mum proud.
|canal 1 of 38789437598|
Then it was off to a private glassblowing exhibit, over the bridge and through the canals.
|hi I was there too|
The glassblowing exhibit was probably the coolest thing I've ever seen. The maestro made a vase in about 5 minutes and we all cried for lack of our own talents. There was also this giant copper horse which again, mum would appreciate:
|no photos my butt|
|it's funny alright|
Then there was this banana in the water that I thought was hysterical because I'm 2 years old.
We went on a brief walking tour through the city, during which we saw the oldest cafe in Venice, Caffe Florian, built in 1720!
|we were floored|
|The Building that is Pretty|
Santa Maria del Giglio, or Saint Mary of the Lily, or the Building that is Pretty.
Then came the main event...a gondola ride down the Grand Canal!
|traghetto = ferry (or between ghettos?)|
|I'm on a gondola!!|
|cloudy with a chance of a gondola ride|
|on a gondola did you know|
|obviously too cool for us|
Our wise and hip gondolier.
|Palazzo Barbarigo ft. fellow gondolier|
|faces of disbelief as he casually rows one-handed|
The most unconvincing smile possibly ever known to man (come on, it was cold).
|down a narrow canalley, patent pending|
|oh no not her again|
|only a little bit nerve-wracking|
Frederico then took us to a leaning tower,
|hand-painted and perfect|
|masks and masks|
|HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE ONLY ONE|
Then of course it was time for a photo shoot by the water. I like these because at first it says hey, I'm in Venice...
|the center of attention|
|ROW ALL THE GONDOLAS|
|probably the best photo I've ever taken|
It tastes like peach sparkling wine. Oh wait...
We also couldn't leave without seeing true, authentic Italian cuisine:
|kabob di chicken nuggets|
McDonald's, pack your bags. These fancy babies are taking over.
Did I mention Venice is beautiful yet?
|a sky of bellini|
|and a tree because I love silhouettes|
To complete this perfect picture of Venice and all of Italy, I present to you...
|guess I'm peeing on the floor|
Pay-to-enter bathrooms. NO!!!!