MAY 30 - JUNE 5
After Germany, I went down south to visit my best friend from high school Molly at the tail end of her printmaking residency on Murano Island in Italy (part of Venice.) This was the first time I was meeting up with someone I knew in Europe and was thrilled it was going to work out. I took the "Alilaguna" (Venice's public transportation... Water busses!) and met her and friend/fellow student also involved in the residency, Dakota.
Let me start with the good. The beauty of Venice lies in its quaint "stepping back in time" atmosphere. Aged buildings complete with laundry lines and flower-laden windows border picturesque canals that the city is famous for. Meandering down narrow streets is to constantly smell the luscious scent of Italian leather and pizza. The highlight of Venice's Italian cuisine is of course succulent seafood, best enjoyed in small and cozy family operations with friendly and eager-to-please attitudes.
The Venice Biennale was also happening, which is perhaps the biggest event that occurs every two years in the city. It is a prestigious affair that attracts the most lucrative artists from all over the world. We had a riot sneaking into a few parties to kick off the Biennale hosted at lavish hotels and also enjoyed the exhibitions and galleries themselves installed in various locations throughout Venice.
Now for the bad. Though deeply grateful for a place to stay on behalf of the people running the printmaking studio, the plumbing was ancient and therefore terrible. The smell of sewage frequently floats through the air (ah, the price you pay for old world charm!) Venice, being a major tourist attraction in Italy, is lined with tourist-trap restaurants that advertise ample outdoor seating and a seemingly nice ambiance, but are nothing more but vendors for overpriced, mediocre food.
I still had a wonderful time exploring the iconic Italian city and reconnecting with old friends as well as meeting new. Their residency was coming to an end, so we decided to head to London next.