It is now late Sunday evening, and we just returned from a wonderful weekend trip to Venice!  We took a train Friday morning that left Florence at 9:30am and arrived in Venice by 11:30am.  That’s about a 160 mile trip in two hours!  The high-speed trains in Italy are nice. 

The weather was overcast and a bit chilly when we arrived on Friday – temps in the low 50s.  Maria also was suffering from a terrible cold.  But over the weekend, both Maria’s illness and the weather got better.  By the time we left today, the weather was sunny and in the 70s and Maria’s cold was almost gone!

On Friday we went right to our hotel and checked in.  We grabbed a quick lunch, and then we started our exploration of Venice!  Busses, cars, and trains are permitted to come across the lagoon to Venice, but they can only drop people off or park.  Once on the island of Venice, the only way to travel is by boat or by foot.   

You can see the bridge from the mainland on the left in the picture below (which I did not take by the way) that leads to the train station and parking areas.  Our hotel was near the train station, and we took a vaporetto (water bus) down the Grand Canal (the big s-curve canal).  We got off at the end of the Grand Canal at St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) – it is the only paved area at the other end of the Grand Canal.    

So here are the Mount students waiting for the vaporetto to go down the Grand Canal.

This is a view of the Grand Canal from one of the bridges that goes over it.

While we were on the vaporetto going down the Grand Canal, I took about a hundred pictures.  It was really breathtaking.  Here are some of my favorites. 

We were really lucky to have Angela, the best tour guide we’ve had while we’ve been in Italy, leading our weekend in Venice.  She found the best deal in Venice – a 50 cent trip across the Grand Canal in a gondola.  (Normally you can pay 100 Euros and up for a gondola ride!)  So we got a great picture in the back of the gondola!  For two Euros!  Maria really looks great here considering how sick she felt.  After this shot, she took the vaporetto back to the hotel and slept until dinner. 

Angela then took us to Piazza San Marco, so we could take some pictures…

and chase pigeons… 

This is the front of the Basilica di San Marco. 

Nicholas and Thomas have become the adopted little brothers of the Mount students.  Here Thomas is hitching a ride from Elise while wearing her shades.  

We had dinner Friday at a restaurant on the Piazza di San Marco, and we were treated with the square all lit up.  The rumor going around was that Johnny Depp was shooting a movie that evening, but no one caught a glimpse of him!

I have so many more pictures and stories to tell of our time in Venice.  I’ll post more tomorrow!  Ciao!


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