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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Have Found My Love (25 July 2010)

Oh, Venezia. My dear, Venezia! Today we spent the day in Venice and it was…INCREDIBLE. I wish I had spent an entire weekend! I do believe I have been converted to the Cult of Bartlett, because we only saw one church of 124 and I WANTED TO SEE MORE!! We started the day trying to find the Hard Rock CafĂ© with a big group of us. Unfortunately there were some people in the group that wanted to wander around the city looking for it without a map. So we split up. We started heading to San Marco’s Basilica which is located at the end of the Grand Canal. We heard that Hard Rock was around there. We ended up splitting from the no-map ground and followed the signs along the walls to San Marco’s. From there, our group split even more when we ran into the Carters. They told us about where the restaurant was. Hey, at least we had an idea. On our trek to San Marco’s we ran back into some of the no-map group; Scott, Abby, and Jill. They hung with us and we made it to the basilica. We asked someone where Hard Rock was and we made our way. When we turned the corner, it was like Heaven rose from the clouds. We saw the restaurant and about died! Who knew we were that starved of incredible American food? About 10 minutes later, the other half of the group showed up. It was a pretty great moment knowing we made it first.

We split our group of eight into two tables of four. We started off with potato skins which were glorious. Oh, and we had FREE REFILLS!! Free refills do not exist in Italy (or probably all of Europe). Neither does tap water. It’s always bottled water at the table. I drowned in three cups of Fanta (which tastes NOTHING like it does back home) before my food came…which I found was a bad idea. I had almost no room for food! :( All of our table ordered hamburgers which was absolutely incredible. There’s nothing like a hunk of meat with a pink center. Teehee…I ate so much I almost through up bits of Heaven. The food was so delicious! It’s sad that we got so excited over t his when we are going to be home in a week! But regardless, it was a highlight.

After lunch we headed out to the San Marco’s and toured the basilica. Some of the group had to leave to head back to Monte and some just took off on our own. Since the girls and I decided to head back tomorrow, we stuck around the city. San Marco’s is absolutely beautiful. The outside marbling is such an amazing sight. The inside (which we couldn’t take photos of, but I did) was so golden and ornate. There’s one piece on the other side of the alter that women in Italy donated their jewels to decorate. It was astounding. The entire church is absolutely massive. It’s truly a sight to see.

The Piazza de San Marco leads out to the Aegean Sea. We headed that way to get breath-taking pictures of the water. While we were looking around we managed to get talked into a gondola ride through the city. It was the best 30 Euros I believe I’ve spent. It was incredible!! We got to see Casanova’s house (which is now business offices) and Marco Polo’s house (which used to be an opera house). He also gave us a brief history of the city along with how the water levels change when the weather does. I could live in this city…if there weren’t so many damn tourists. The gondolier let us off and I just kept thinking, “Damn, why didn’t I spend a weekend here?!” I must go back.

Venice has been the best part of my trip. I really did save the best for last!! We leave at midnight on Saturday night to head to the airport. While these last 4 weeks have flown by, it feels like we’ve been here forever. But I am ready to be home, in my own bed and in A/C! Finals are this week so I’m trying to prepare for those along with our last two trips: Siena (which I saw a bit of) and Bologna. I’ll update more later!

¡Ciao!

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