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Guggenheim, Gondolas, and the Grand Canal

Guggenheim, Gondolas, and the Grand Canal

Words of advice: GO TO VENICE

I had high expectations for my trip to Venice, and I can safely say my expectations were exceeded. If you study abroad, Venice should most definitely be on your top 5 list! I arrived in Venezia, Italia at approximately 19:30. Right in front of my face as I walked outside of the train station, was the grand canal and beautiful, colorful buildings. Due to my lack of geography knowledge, I was not aware Venice was an island until I was planning my trip. My friends and I had to take a ferry down the grand canal to get to our Airbnb. Even in the dark and cold, Venice was beautiful. Seeing the lights of the buildings reflect on the water of the grand canal and breathing in the salt water air was quite the greeting.

The following day, my friends and I visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Museum. This is a must do when you’re in Venice!! As someone who is very interested in art, I was stoked for this. Peggy had gathered quite the collection of art in her life. She owned pieces by Salvador Dahlí, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. Getting to see Dahlí and Picasso pieces in person was incredible! 10/10 would recommend this museum.

Later in the day, we visited the Libreria Acqua Alta. This is a famous bookstore in Venice that has many different books of all kinds, languages, and years. In addition, there is a very large gondola in the middle of the store FULL of books. And of course, in the back, there are steps made out of books that you can physically step on. The wear and tear from the books being outside and surviving the elements is visible but makes it that much cooler.

Of course, my favorite thing about visiting Venice was the gondola ride. It wasn’t until I was on the gondola in the middle of the grand canal with the Rialto Bridge behind me and the gondolier yelling Italian that it really sunk in that I am really here…in Italy…studying abroad. I am having experiences that I never thought I would have, and especially at the age of 20. I have learned to fully immerse myself in the Italian culture and love the things I didn’t at first. I am forever grateful for my parents, who made it and continue to make it possible for me to be here. I am learning to live more in the moment and appreciate my surroundings.

I am only a month into my study abroad experience, and I feel that I am already different than I was when I left Chicago. I highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is able to. Everyone needs to be taken out of their comfort zones sometimes and view things from a different perspective. You learn differently when you study abroad. I am learning and experiencing things that could have not been possible sitting in a classroom.

Until next time, arrivederci! 🙂

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