Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Venizia, mi amore.

Ciao mi amici,

Haven’t been able to update in awhile. I’ve been quite busy now that classes have started. I’m enjoying them. My favorite part of studying abroad is that we frequently have on-site classes, where we go to churches, museums, and different parts of the city, and look at what we’re learning about instead of simply reading about it. This is definitely a unique experience, and despite my earlier complaints of homesickness and stress, I highly recommend it to everyone.

This past weekend was spent in Venice, which is by far my favorite place in Italy so far. Being both a Shakespeare fan and a musician, I kind of had to be excited for it. (The Merchant of Venice self-explanatorily takes place there, and the composer Vivaldi taught there). The city was jam-packed with tourists, but so is Florence, so that didn’t bother me so much. The unique thing about Venice is that there is no motor traffic, and so the city is extremely quiet at night. A few of us went out and walked around on Saturday night, and though many people were out, there was a strange peaceful atmosphere that you usually don’t find in an urban setting. A few fellow students and I considered visiting the famous Florian Café in Piazza di San Marco, but after seeing that they charge 8 euros for a cup of coffee, we decided against it. The Florian always has live musicians playing outside under the awning, and it was fun to sit and listen to them. The accordion player started playing Sinatra, so I had to get up and tap-dance. :)

And St. Mark’s Basilica… breathtaking. That’s the only word I have. We were given the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the basilica at night, after it had closed and the tourists had all left. We entered in the dark, sat down in the first few rows of seats, and, one by one, the lights came on, exposing the breathtaking beauty of the sanctuary. My words cannot even begin to do justice to the extreme overdose of GORGEOUS that this experience gave me. I took pictures, but they pale in comparison. Every wall is covered in gold mosaics, and in dim light, it has an almost otherworldly feel to it. It must have been even more breathtaking back when they used only candles to light the building.

These are just a few of the wonders of Venice. I highly recommend that everyone should visit it at least once, since it is such a unique city. I hope that I’ll get the chance to go back at some point in my life.

This is either week 6 or week 7, I’ve lost count. I’ve just finished writing a fictional contract for a commissioned art piece for my Professional Artist in Renaissance Florence class, and though I have no prior knowledge of Renaissance art or how these contracts worked, I had fun researching it and putting it together. I take the role of the patron, and commission a specific artist to create an art piece for me in a requested location, following my exact instructions. I chose to request a wall fresco in a family chapel. Today, for that class, we have a guest coming in to demonstrate the process of painting a fresco. I’m looking forward to it.

More updates to follow. I’m out. Arrividerci!

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