This was easily the best weekend I've had this whole semester. We took an 8am fast train to Venice out of Rome on Saturday, and pulled in a little before 12. I'd had a rough night on Friday and was feeling pretty low about this whole studying abroad thing, but as soon as I stepped out the doors of the train station, everything turned around. Venice is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. After the crazy fast paced claustrophobia of Rome, Venice was exactly what I needed.
It was such a beautiful day. Everyone had warned us about how cold it would be, and I don't know if it's just the New Hampshire blood in me, but it was actually so nice out. We got to take the vaporetto (the public transportation through the canals, via boat) to our hotel, and it was breathtaking to see the city for the first time. We dropped our stuff at the hotel and set off to explore our neighborhood and eat lunch.
I honestly had the best meal I've had this whole semester. It was a Biancarosa pizza (prosciutto and cheese) and I swear my biggest regret so far is that I got too full to finish it. It was glorious.
After that, the group headed to San Marco, where Mark the Evangelist (like the Gospel of Mark, Mark) was laid to rest. It was incredible.
We had about 3 hours until we had to meet back for dinner so most of the girls headed to Murano, where all of the glass is made (and also where I bought a fair amount of gifts for people!). It was surprisingly quiet there. It's definitely the off season for them, but it was kind of nice to have the stores to ourselves.
As we were riding the vaporetto back to our meeting place for dinner, I was looking out at the beautiful night sky, and the moon reflecting off the water was mesmerizing. It made me think of how just one night before, which now seemed like forever ago, I had been so homesick and missing everyone so much, unsure of my place here in Italy. But as I saw the moon, I realized that it was the same moon you all can look up and see tonight, and the same moon I see at home. So even though I spent Friday night and some other low points in this semester feeling every one of the 4500 miles that separate me from all of you, on Saturday night, those miles felt like nothing at all.
And on Sunday, we finished our stay with Mass at San Marco, and a gondola ride!
Here's the Venice Facebook Album if you want to check out more pictures from our ride and of the city.
Love (to the moon and back), Chris