The day is finally here, the day I travel to Italy! It seems like I’ve been preparing for this trip for years. It’s hard to believe that I boarded a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt then from Frankfurt to Venice just yesterday/today. Flying is one of my favorite parts of the whole travel experience. I love taking off and the lightness you feel once the plane is completely off the ground. I hadn’t travelled out of the United States since I went to Zambia in 2014, so I had been itching for a good international trip. Friday morning came and I threw my passport and some clothes into a suitcase and boarded my flight, ready to take on Venice.
Now that I’m actually here and done with my first day, it feels amazing to finally be abroad. There’s something that you just can’t quite put into words about being in a completely foreign country that you don’t know much about. When I exited the airport in Venice, the air smelled crisp and fresh. The trees greeted me as I walked to our water taxi. The views from the water taxi were incredible. The colorful buildings and cobbled streets are exactly like what I imagined them to be. I still can’t believe that I’m actually in Venice and I will be here for the next week.
Pictures don’t do Venice justice. Seeing some of the famous landmarks in person is totally different than viewing a picture online. Piazza San Marco, Ponte di Rialto, and the Doge’s Palace look very different in person than they do through a computer screen. I got to experience the grandness of them all and truly soak in the atmosphere and energy surrounding me. Ponte di Rialto and Piazza San Marco were teeming with people and you could barely walk three steps without bumping in to someone. That’s one major difference from back home that I’ve noticed even after one day. Venice is incredibly crowded. It is more crowded than any other major city that I’ve visited in my life. Maybe it had something to do with the time of day that I was visiting these landmarks or the time of year, but whatever it may be, it can get a little claustrophobic in the narrow streets at times. I absolutely love the hustle and bustle of people though. Being surrounded by thousands of other people is exhilarating and something I don’t get often back in West Lafayette or my hometown of Traverse City.
We spent most of today wandering around Venice and soaking in the quirky shops and endless gelato stands. Professor Felluga gave us a walking tour of the city, which was informative and interesting. I knew Venice was a large city, but it is definitely larger than I expected. The streets seem to go on forever and as soon as you turn one corner, you are faced with three new direction options to take. After the walking tour, we ate pasta and fish for a hearty first dinner followed by the famous gelato pit stop to end the night. My flavor today was pistachio and I’m not sure how tomorrow’s gelato flavor is going to beat pistachio.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of this trip will bring. My first day was incredible and Venice is even better than I imagined it to be.