Monday, April 23, 2012

to venezia, and beyond!

At the end of last week, I tossed aside the cold and dreary blanket that had fallen over Milano and hopped on a train to Venice.
On the way, I passed by lots of grapevines…


 (I wasn't kidding) 

I also went by Verona, where Romeo, Juliet, and my dad have all called home at one point.

About two hours later, I actually got off in Vicenza, just west of Venice, in which a friend of mine from middle school/high school has been studying for the past four months to finish up his degree in Architecture from UF [Go Gata!].

It's now safe to say that I haven't taken enough pictures on this Italian adventure: Not of my daytrip to the mountains, not of Melegnano, and now not of Vicenza. It is a really attractive town, with all of the charm that you'd hope for in an Italian locale-- shops, occasional parks, good-looking buildings, stone streets, plenty of restaurants, and none of the tourists. It seems like a neat place to call home for a semester. Sadly, these are the only two pictures I took of the entire place:

(Again, I wasn't kidding)

When I first arrived there, it was only to put my bags away, then together we got on a train to Venice. About an hour later (we were on a regional [aka a ton of stops] train), we arrived and began our wanderings.

Basically, we spent the afternoon simply walking around the city. We saw many of the famous buildings, but also more of the quieter districts. That's what happens when you simply wander:
You discover the true charm of a place, not just the things in the postcards.

In Venice, I did manage to snap some pictures. Buckle in and take a look, if you wish:
(PS- my fave is the last of this string of photos, so if you don't feel like 
browsing the whole selection, at least skip to the final Venice shot)

I think this is the Stairway to Heaven. Maybe?

 St. Mark's Basilica (or, officially, Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco)

 ...and Piazza San Marco

 The front of the church up close.

Getting away from the crowds...

 No tourists here! (well...except for two...)

 The blue sky turned gray a couple hours into our visit...

 Seriously, there were times when it felt like we had the city to ourselves.

My favorite. I wish this little blog could handle the full-sized pic.

After the rain started, we headed back to Vicenza for drinks, dinner, and goodbyes (it was their final day in Italy). My only evidence of the evening is our attempt to get one picture of my friend and I together. I proved my theory correct: I am totally un-photogenic. It's quite unfortunate, really, especially when standing aside such a handsome fella. Take your pick:
Would you like...
 Me making an ill attempt at a pucker/smile thing?

 How about when we both forget to look at the camera and 
my retrograde profile that I hate so much is revealed?

 Or maybe me making a plain ol' stupid, over-excited face?

Nah, we'll just settle with the one that evidences my apparent weight-gain situation.

So there you have it: A successful daytrip to northeast Italy.
To steal a phrase from a very wise man, Thanks for looking.

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