Living in a Movie
My Venice arrival went smoothly with the help of a friend already traveling in Italy. Our first stop was in Treviso, a quant town that is similar to Venice with a few canals and old old buildings. We spent a short time there, getting my first Italian cappuccino and wandering the streets to keep me from falling asleep (thanks jet lag).
We then headed up to Paderno del Grappa, where Libby and Allyson were living and taking classes. Paderno is a small small town, with one hotel, one cafe, a pizzeria, and the school they attend. It sits right at the foothills of the Dolomite mountains, creating a spectacular view in all directions.
The flood of relief I felt when seeing Libby and Ally is indescribable. Needless to say, I was very happy and feeling very at home. They live in cute dorms on the tiny campus of Instituti Filippin. Over the course of the days spent with them I was able to join in on a friend trip and a night trip with their classes. We first visited Villa Barbaro, a villa that, in its hay day, was at the center of a trade route and was used for hosting guests as they traveled. It was very magnificent. They also have their own grape fields and produce their own wine. We were able to stop in the wine bar and try the local wines!
Later in the evening, we ventured to Bassano del Grappa, a neighboring town that is a little bigger than Paderno. They call is “Bassano by Night” and its essentially a time to go to Italian bars because there aren’t any in Paderno. We had a fun night, drinking wine and getting to know other students in the program. Everyone was very confused about why I was there and where I had come from. It was pretty funny explaining it.
Those activities filled Wednesday, so Thursday, after their morning classes, we went into Venice. My oh my, is Venice breathtaking and fascinating. I’m not sure I even have words for it, other than at every turn their is another scene worth photographing and restaurant worth entering. We walked all across the island of Venice, popping into shops (some very touristy), grabbing cappuccinos, eating crepes, listening to live music, and snapping as many pictures as possible. The twists and turns of Venice feel like a maze always leading into a postcard. We eventually made it to Piazza San Marco, admiring all the architecture and views along the way. After eating at an outdoor restaurant, we meandered back to the bus stop, finishing our night at a snack bar with some wine and chips.
We stayed in a hotel on Mestre because we all had flights the next morning for the weekend. We woke up on Friday, made it on our flights and my time with my best friends in Europe was over. They were off to Nice, France while I traveled to Ireland to begin my program. Now in Ireland, I have fallen in love all over again.
Here are some pictures from our trip to Venice
Its all very lovely. And to top it off, a waiter said “Ciao Bella” as we walked by and I felt as if my time in Italy was complete.
Soon I’ll report about Ireland.