Our annual CCI trip to Venezia began as it ended…in the snow! This is not how one pictures this ancient and storied city or sees it depicted in travel magazines. It may have been cold and snowy but at least we did not have to contend with floods at the same time.
After an early start and a long morning drive, we arrived in Venice eager to explore the city. Cold winds blew down the streets and over the canals as we held our orientation tour of the city starting at the magnificent Basilica San Marco.
A little later in the afternoon, wind-blown visitors abandoned the idea of gondola rides and scurried for cover in the Piazza San Marco.
Dinner was held in the hotel on both nights.
Three Friday morning tours were offered to the students. Those students who visited the Tragicomica were in fact visiting a mask making factory. There they learned about the art of making masks, the history behind the masks themselves as well, as well as the history of the annual Venetian Carnavale. A second group was led on a mystery tour of Venice. In this tour, as they visited a number of places both famous and infamous, they were told stories about events that had occurred there. However, one of the stories was concocted by the teachers in advance and presented as true. Of all the stories told, the students had to guess which story was false. (Only one student of over twenty guessed correctly.) The third group visited the Peggy Guggenheim Museum which houses many works of modern art. Peggy Guggenheim inherited a fortune and devoted herself to supporting young modern artists like Picasso, Braque, Miro, Klee, Kandinsky, Mondrian through the purchase of their works. These became the nucleus of her important major collection of art.
That afternoon, we visited the Palazzo Ducale. It was the seat of government for the Venetian Empire and built to impress. It was also the judiciary and prison, which we toured.
The infamous Bridge of Sighs was the passageway from the Palazzo to the prisons. For prisoners, looking through the latticed windows was their last view of the outside world before certtain death in the bowels of the prison.
Following that tours, some students elected to remain near the Piazza San Marco while others took a Vaperatto ride along the Grand Canal.
On our way south the next day, we stopped at Verona for a couple of hours to see Juliet’s balcony and some of the sites of this ancient city.
Our intention was to then stop in Bologna for a few hours to have dinner. However, we ran into a blizzard which made driving treacherous and slow.
It was a long slow ride back to Lanciano but credit goes to Maurizio our driver who ensured that we all returned safely.