Check out the link to the Venice Programme Video which manages to show how great the Venice term really is, without even a mention of Grom icecream, terse exchanges about change in Billa and bottles of 3 euro prosecco.
If you’ve been to Venice you’ve undoubtedly spotted some graffiti as you explore the city. On my last visit there was certainly evidence that in some areas vandalism was being cleaned up, especially along the main tourist routes.
There is one particular tag that stands out to me, that of a bird wearing the traditional mask worn by doctors during the plague.
Have you spotted these birds? I wonder who they belong to.
The last few weeks before the end of term are busy for the Venice students. However, if you manage to finish your final essay a little early (it is just about physically possible) and with the final free week, there is time to explore the Veneto and further. Bologna makes a perfect day trip, especially in the run up to Christmas, as it has beautiful festive lights and a Christmas market. Trains regularly depart to Bologna from Santa Lucia railway station and take between an hour and a half and two hours.
Famous for its Bolognese sauce, it is most definitely worth stopping for lunch. We headed to Ristorante Cesarina, a friendly restaurant that served delicious Bolognese and Lasagne. If you’re lucky, the waiter might even offer a sample of Balsamic glaze to try with bread (we must have looked like very hungry students). Don’t be tempted to buy it off the waiter though (we must have looked like very stupid students) as the price asked for, 15 euros, seemed a little steep when we saw the same bottle on sale in Billa for a few euros.
Head to the centre of the city for lots of shops, Christmas lights and a little Christmas market. The Christmas tree is Piazza Maggiore is beautiful!
The Venice term ends a couple of weeks before Christmas, by which time Venice is already looking festive. As the nights get longer, misty Venice looks beautiful with its Christmas lights and festive shop windows. Here are some of my favourite shots of Venice, taken just before the end of term.
Christmas trees go on sale a week before Warwick students head home. Locals pick a tree up just off Rio Tera de la Madalena in Cannaregio.
The Chorus Pass gains you entry into lots of Venice’s beautiful churches. Save a few to visit in December, as each church has its own Nativity scene. This Nativity scene was part of collection found just off Calle Scuola and free to see.
Christmas lights make the Rialto Bridge look festive.
Panettone pop up everywhere in the last couple of weeks of term! A delicious Italian, Christmas treat, a slice of Panettone goes perfectly with a cup of tea. The Billa Panettone is only a couple of euros and very tasty, it should be the staple to any Venice student’s diet at the end of term!
Head to Saint Mark’s Square to enjoy the lights reflected on the Campanile.
The last picture isn’t of Venice, but Treviso. Only ten minutes away on the train, Treviso makes for a lovely day out before Christmas. Find the amazing deli in the town centre for incredible spices, herbs and of course Panettone.
Have a very Merry Christmas, whether in Venice or the rest of the world!
Travel Week is a very welcome break, half way through the Venice term. Most students head off to Florence for a few days, maybe stopping off in Pisa or Bologna too. However, really you can go where ever you fancy.
With great train links, inexpensive flights and not to mention impressive ferry routes, the world is your oyster in Venice, well Europe at least. I went to Sicily with two friends, a trip that we all loved (except the bumpy flight). Ryanair‘s cheap flights and out of season hotel prices (we stayed in the lovely Hotel Ambasciatori) make an inexpensive trip to this amazing island.
Here are a few photos of our much loved adventure to Sicily! I hope it inspires you to head to Sicily for a little bit of sunshine, beautiful architecture and delicious food for yourselves.
Palermo is a beautiful, vibrant and bustling city. The city’s noisy traffic and imposing, vast buildings is in stark contrast to Venice. The Sicilian people are very friendly, happy to stop and help if you are lost, and willing to talk slowly, for confused English students.
I don’t think there is a better city to be caught in a downpour, or even a light drizzle for that matter. OK, so it can be pretty frustrating when you are rushing to a lecture, dodging tourists’ umbrellas for fear of losing an eye or two. However, Venice in the mist and rain, is beautifully romantic. The whole city glistens. Between October and December, Venice experiences some its wettest days. Wellies become a wardrobe staple, giving protection from the high waters and a little satisfaction, as you can splash in the water, unrestricted by the elevated boards.
We all agreed it was madness to sit in a gondola in the rain, but I guess if you’ve only got a day and you’re happy to get a little wet to experience this unique experience, then fair enough! Look closely and you can see that the raincoat clad gondelier is Giorgia Boscola, the first female of her profession.
Wading through the aqua alta; getting a little wet is very much part of Venetian life. Planks allow much of the high water to be avoided. However, wellies or stivali di gomma are always a wise fashion choice!