Ciao from Venice, Italy

Hello!

Today marks two weeks that I’ve been in Venice, and I still can’t believe that I’m here! I’ve been so busy since I’ve been here that I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe. It’s absolutely amazing. The city, the people, everything.

Everyone here says that it’s such a small place but compared to Jamestown, there’s so much to see! This is especially so because I came at the most wonderful time! When I got here, Venice was having their celebration of Carnevale! Hundreds of thousands of people on such a small island; it was like nothing else I have ever experienced!

So many people here for Carnevale

So many people here for Carnevale

Carnevale costumes

Carnevale costumes

Well, since I’ve been here, I have done so many things; it feels like no time has passed. The first day I was here, I had to navigate my way, by bus, to the mainland of Venice, which was pretty overwhelming because I hadn’t slept in about 36 hours and it was 10 in the morning!

The first weekend I was here, one of my best friends came to visit me from Florence. She was my tour guide all weekend and she even cooked my roommate and me authentic Italian food. “Che benissima!” That weekend, we also went to the Guggenheim museum of Venice, visited some churches, went to a discoteca, and participated in some festivities of Carnevale.

Sunny day in Venice!

Sunny day in Venice!

"The world's most beautiful bookshop" right on the canal

“The world’s most beautiful bookshop” right on the canal

After my friend left, I didn’t get a break. The next day I began my classes. I go to school five times a week to learn Italian and am taking online classes and do so much outside of class! This mostly includes fumbling our way through the city, trying not to fall into any canals.

I should also mention how much walking I do here. Almost every day I’m walking at least five miles! It’s exhausting. But, the gorgeous sights make it all worth it. From the northern end of the island you can see the Southern Alps clear as day. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.

A building I found while getting lost

A building I found while getting lost

The Alps

The Alps

Well, this past weekend, I went to Barcelona. It was so strange because speaking in Spanish felt easy after being immersed in Italian. I could talk to people on the street and ask for directions. It was a nice break for me.

But, let me tell you, one weekend in Barcelona is not enough. We went on a walking tour and saw a lot of the city but still not nearly as much as I wish we could have. Later that evening we went to a club on the beach and I met so many new people but consequently, I now have sand in my favorite boots. That was our last night in Barcelona. The next day, our flight left for Venice.

Flight to Barcelona

Flight to Barcelona

Our Hostile

Our Hostel

The next day, last Monday, my roommate woke me up to let me know that she was going back to New York City that day. For good. Since I’ve never lived on my own before, it was rather overwhelming, but here I am!

Since then, I’ve met quite a lot of new friends and spent several hours at the local museums with two women, one from France and one from Russia. I also got invited to a party by a girl from China this weekend! I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for me!

I took a cooking class!

I took a cooking class!

Gorgeous architecure of Venice

Gorgeous architecture of Venice

Everyday differences: There are no cars. Even the ambulances are boats. The fruits and vegetable stands are also boats. There aren’t even bikes. It’s difficult to find people who will speak back to you in Italian (clearly I’m American), there aren’t doorknobs on the outside of houses, there are gorgeous churches on almost every corner (because before bridges, people needed to get to church), there aren’t carpets, wine is cheaper than water in most places, and there are plazas everywhere you look where teenagers spend sunny days. This isn’t even a fraction of the differences that there actually are! I am so lucky to be spending so much time in this city! Arrivaderci!

Until next time,

Zoanne

About the author

Zoanne Gebhard

Hello, my name is Zoanne Gebhard. I am going to be in Venice for the semester to study the Italian language. I plan to graduate this spring with a degree in Humanities. In the future, I hope to become an interpreter. Different cultures and languages have always fascinated me so this experience is something I have always wanted to do! Be prepared for tons of pictures of the area and my travels.