By: Janae Carter

This past weekend, the thirty honors students studying abroad in Rome were able to enjoy a memorable weekend in Venice. For me, Venice was an experience like no other because it is like no other city in the world. Instead of roads, you ride on boats through the many canals that fill in for streets. Seeing the Doge’s Palace, which was the seat of power in Venice, was incredible. During the tour of the palace, we crossed the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the true palace to the dungeons of the city. The view from the island we stayed on was breathtaking and each morning and evening I could hear the bells from St. Mark’s and the other churches tolling from the main part of Venice and see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  When everyone attended Sunday Mass at St. Mark’s, we were able to admire the stunning architecture of the basilica and the intricate golden mosaics which decorated the entirety of the inside of the church. When we had free time to explore, some friends and I traveled to a city in the Venetian Lagoon called Murano, known for its handmade glass objects that range from vases to intricate little figures like miniature christmas trees or any sort of animal you could name. During this excursion we happened upon a beautiful church that had a baptismal font entirely made out of hand-blown and hand-carved glass. It was also an amazing experience to walk through the center of Venice, away from the docks where most tourists stay. Inside the heart of the city, there were shops that sold intricate Venetian masks, a wonderful gelateria, and a tranquil park. One group I was a part of even had a chance to play fetch with a border collie while we were waiting to go inside a restaurant for dinner. It was a busy but deeply enriching weekend that I will never forget. When I first came to Rome, I thought that no city could ever compare; however, Venice now has my heart.

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