November 3, 2013


*praise God*

Thankfully, I had had contact with PJ during the trip (a conversation to fan yourself over, Ladies) to scoop us up, and he was prompt and looking pretty scrumpdiddlyumptious as soon as we exited the airport.

Just like that, Fall vacation was over. Back to class we went.



3 Hours later in Venezia





The Church of Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, is placed scenically at a narrow finger of land which lies between the Grand Canal and the Canale della Giudecca. 
Its history begins in 1630, when a wave of the plague assaulted Venice, that killed nearly a third of the population. At the end of the epidemic, the Venetians decided to build a church, as a thanks to the Virgin Mary for the relief from the plague. 
San Simeone Piccolo (also called San Simeone e Giuda) is a church built in 1718-38 by Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto. This was one of the last churches built in Venice, in one of its poorer sestieri. The pediment of the entrance has a marble relief depicting “The Martyrization of the Saints” by Francesco Penso, known as “il Cabianca”. Saint Simon was apparently the martyred cousin of Christ, martyred as a Jew by the Romans.




-Piazza San Marco-

Piazza San Marco (Piasa San Marco), often known in English as St Mark’s Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as la Piazza (“the Square”). The Piazza was paved in the late 12th century with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. Bands of light-colored stone ran parallel to the long axis of the main piazza. These lines were probably used in setting up market stalls and in organizing frequent ceremonial processions. This original pavement design can be seen in paintings of the late Middle Ages and through the Renaissance, such as Gentile Bellini’s Procession in Piazza San Marco of 1496.
St Mark’s Campanile (Canpanièl de San Marco) is the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, located in the Piazza San Marco. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. The tower is 98.6 metres (323 ft) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark’s Square, near the front of the basilica.

-St Mark’s Basilica-

The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, commonly known as Saint Mark’s Basilica (Baxéłega de San Marco), is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge’s Palace.
For its opulent design, gold ground mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold).



November 2, 2013

At the crack of dawn we were up and on a boat with our things that took us to ACTUAL Venice. On a sidenote: I was sporting the first signs of a cold. Thank You FOOLISH CAMPSITE.


Our train from Venice to Milan was scheduled to leave in the next fours hours of us landing in ACTUAL Venice, so Amipa and I stored our bags at the train station and headed out (without Sesame *rolls eyes*) to absorb basically all of Venice in 3 hours.


Various types of gondola boats are also used in special regattas (rowing races) held amongst gondoliers.




And like the bosses we were, we made it to the train station, after stopping for a slight sweet snack, with minutes to spare!! We hopped the train to Milan, and then transferred straight to the airport for a 5 hour wait in our terminal. At this point, after the night at the campsite, I was ready to be back in my room with unlimited access to my shower.

November 1, 2013

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” 
― Truman Capote

First day of November and we were on a 6-hour train to Venice!! I’ve always wanted to go to Venice since I was in my single digit years, so as you can IMAGINE, I was over the top (yet slightly tired) with excitement.


Flag of Venice

Since the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the city has held an unrivaled place in the Western imagination and has been endlessly described in prose and verse. The luminous spectacle of ornate marbled and frescoed palaces, bell towers, and domes reflected in the sparkling waters of the lagoon under a blue Adriatic sky has been painted, photographed, and filmed to such an extent that it is difficult to distinguish the real city from its romantic representations.

Venice (Venesia[veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges, of which there are 400. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. 


The situation of the city on islands has limited modern suburban spread beyond the historic centre; its framework of canals and narrow streets has prevented the intrusion of automobiles; and its unmatched wealth of fine buildings and monuments dating from the period of commercial dominance has ensured a keen and almost universal desire for sensitive conservation. This concern for conservation is now extended not just to the city’s monuments but to the very city itself, as rising water levels and subsidence of the land upon which Venice is built threaten the continued existence of the city in its present form.

It still remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.

We finally arrived……except…..we weren’t in Venice. We were across the river from Venice and APPARENTLY staying at a campsite?!


Let me tell you this was the WORST night ever. The room smelled like mildew and there were mosquitoes bigger than my eyes. If my excitement needed toning down, this definitely did the trick. Cue a sleepless night….


St. Peter’s Basilica

I love St Peter’s church. It grieves me to think that after a few days I shall see it no more. It has a peculiar smell from the quantity of incense burned in it. The music that is heard in it is always good and the eye is always charmed. It is an ornament of the earth.

-RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Journals, April 7, 1833
From: ‘When in Rome’ Copyright © 1998 by Robert J Hutchinson, p. 66



The Pontifical Swiss Guard (also Papal Swiss Guard, or just Swiss Guard) is a small force maintained by the Holy See that is responsible for the safety of the Pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace.



October 31, 2013

Il secondo giorno.

We hit the bakery, and upon request, one of the other members of the trip was the navigator for the day. Completely fine with me. Now I had more time to enjoy my surroundings and snap those little spots I would’ve otherwise missed in search of the ‘normal sights’.

IMG_2304IMG_2310All the metro talks seemed to have disappeared with a good night’s sleep. *chuckles*

Imagine that.

Eventually, we got to the Vatican seeing as our navigator got us lost. 

Not as easy as it looks. (sorry, that was petty).


The Vatican tour was 35€ and the line was madddddddd long. So the impatient split from the patient and we headed into St. Peter’s Basilica. Ohhhhhh the architecture in that place. W H E W!



In the early fourth century Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome, decided to build a basilica on Vatican Hill at the site of small shrine that marked the likely location of the tomb of St. Peter. Construction of the basilica started between 319 and 322. It was consecrated in 326 AD and finally completed around 349 AD. To facilitate the construction, a part of the terrain was leveled and the necropolis where St. Peter was originally buried was demolished.
In the middle of the fifteenth century, the basilica was falling into ruin and pope Nicolas V ordered the restoration and enlargement of the church after plans by Bernardo Rossellino. After Nicolas V died, works were halted.
At the time of Michelangelo’s death in 1564 only the drum of the dome was built. The dome was finally completed in 1590 by Giacomo della Porta. On request of pope Paul V the imposing edifice was extended further into a true Latin cross plan by Carlo Maderno, who completed the main facade in 1614. The church was finally reconsecrated in 1626 by pope Urban VIII, exactly 1300 years after the consecration of the first church.

Now after that stop, Amipa declared that she wanted to head back to the Colosseum because she didn’t get to see eveything and she MAY still have time on her ticket, the ticket we urged her to use to her capacity yesterday cause we were in no rush. Sesame decidds that he’s not with that, so he navigated himself back to the Hostel. Mind you, It’s All Hallows Eve (Halloween), so there were multitudinous options of events to attend. 
We got to the Colosseum ANNNDDDD it’s closed. Womp Womp. We did, however, end up taking random selfies with some silver foxes on our journey back. That’s always entertaining at best. 
Time to decide the nights plans and everyone wanted to sit on the wi-fi.
W H E T?!
I walked down the street, picked up some pizza because, of course, I was hungry, and I settled in for the night whilst they tried to decided on what to eat for 2 hours. 

Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain is in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.
Coins are purposely meant to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder.  The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy.
The Pantheon (from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion meaning “[temple] of every god”) is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD).


In Piazza Venezia…

The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II (“National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II”) or Il Vittoriano, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome.
The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of goddess Roma after World War I following an idea of General Giulio Douhet. The body of the unknown soldier was chosen on 26 October 1921 from among 11 unknown remains by Maria Bergamas, a woman from Gradisca d’Isonzo whose only child was killed during World War I. Her son’s body was never recovered.